10 reasons to go on a ’smart’ spring break
If you’re a young teacher in today’s fast-paced world, you know that work doesn’t stop at the end of class. Far from it – tomorrow’s lessons need to be planned and report card season always seems to be just around the corner. Because of this, it’s essential to know how to unplug and relax, but maybe even more important to do so in a smart way. Enter the “smart vacation” – a unique combination of vacation and study.
A “smart vacation” combines a short-term language course (say, for 2-3 weeks) with a relaxing holiday in a city you’ve always wanted to get to know or a beach destination that’s sat too long on your bucket list. It gives you the time away you crave, but also offers you the opportunity to do something positive for your career by improving your teaching skills and broadening your horizons.
Here are ten of the top reasons why choosing a “smart vacation” is a great idea this spring break.
1. Understand your students better
A language teacher who speaks other languages themselves knows what it’s like to draw a blank or feel nervous in class. By dusting off your high school French or learning an entirely new language you’ll be back in your students’ shoes and find your empathy towards them increases.
2. Improve your job prospects
On the other hand, if you’re looking to change locations and teach in another country, learning the language is super important. Just think of how much easier it will be to find an apartment, choose a cellphone contract, and meet new friends!
3. Boost your performance
Our brain is just like a muscle, and working for a long period of time without breaks wears it out. A getaway will allow the brain to get the rest it deserves – and some light study (and lots of practice) will ensure you come back home feeling rejuvenated and energized.
4. Enhance your creativity
By hashing out the same repetitive tasks over and over for a long period of time, our creativity can take a hit. Taking a break and trying out a new life in a new city – even if just for a couple of weeks – will get these creative juices flowing when the semester restarts.
5. Improve your physical and mental health
Take a few days off and give yourself the time to recharge your worn out batteries. Your mental and physical health will thank you.
6. Lower the chances of a burnout
We’ve all seen it – the exhausted, overwhelmed teacher who’s almost a zombie before class even starts or the colleague who had to take a semester away. Avoiding a collapse is as easy as taking some time off and recharging in an exciting new city or at a stunning beach.
7. Sharpen your mind
Learning a language has been found to improve memory and concentration, and lower the risks of Alzheimer’s.
8. Make new connections
Whether it’s in class or over a glass of wine – you’ll get to know like-minded educators from around the world and walk away with dozens of new contacts, friends, and classroom tips.
9. Immersion in a new culture
Experiencing a new way of living and adapting to your surroundings enhances tolerance and openness, and will make you a better communicator and teacher.
10. See the world
Not only will you be able to learn a language, make new professional contacts and immerse yourself in a foreign culture; you’ll also discover a new city or beach destination, and add a stamp to your passport.