- The perfect weekend for me includes a mix of fresh air, friends, and faith. What does yours include?
- Expand your formula for the perfect weekend to long weekends and longer school holidays so you truly enjoy them and reap the benefits.
- Plan your year ahead of time to include fresh air, friends, faith, and exploring (or whatever is in your personal formula) to support wellness and joy throughout the year.
Planning the Perfect Weekend
Last September, I wrote about the formula for planning the perfect weekend. Definitely check it out, but for a brief summary: I feel most restored when I actively prep for the weekend by getting all my housework done so I can fully focus on enjoying myself, connecting, and recharging. Beyond that, a perfect weekend for me includes something social, something outside, and something spiritual. This year, I switched my reminders on my electronic bullet journal to fresh air, friends, and faith.How can I prepare for this upcoming school year to intentionally include rest for my own wellness and also so that I bring a better version of myself to my students each and every day? Click To Tweet
This Summer Was Incredible
At the time I’m writing this, I still have one full week before heading back to school for meetings before the kids come the week after. Reflecting on my summer, I have had the best summer of my entire teaching career! This summer has been an amazing mix of epic adventures, connecting with internet friends IRL, challenging myself, exploring new places, and resting. It made me wonder, did I check off all the boxes on what I feel a perfect weekend includes? Could this idea be expanded to longer breaks? How can I prepare for this upcoming school year to intentionally build in rest for my own wellness and also, so that I bring a better version of myself to my students each and every day?
- Backpacking 22 miles of Pictured Rocks
- Smaller hikes
- Beach trips (to three Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean)
- Visiting towns to explore and walk around
- Taking myself to coffee or lunch with a good book
- Seeing Niagara Falls
- Meeting three friends IRL from BookTube
- Participating in Buddy Reads with friends from all over the world
- Hugging Teach Better family IRL
- Snuggling my newborn nephew for the first time
- Going on a New England road trip with my mom
- Meditation and prayer
- Reading and spending time in reflection
- Bullet journal/developing goals
- Attending mass
- Having more time to spend during the week with those in my church family
What Am I Missing?
As I reflect on this list and scroll through my YouTube channel and Instagram feed, I do notice something missing. I love learning. If given endless free time, much of it would be spent participating in activities that allow me to explore and learn new things. Not only that, but passing that knowledge on to others to create a conversation surrounding it is critical. We learn and grow in community. In short, teaching.
This summer, I learned how to backpack and created a YouTube video on how to hike with diabetes. I read Mutual Aid and currently have a blog post I’m writing about moving from self-care to collective care in education. Last week, I visited Salem and now have been telling everyone who breathes the true story behind the board game Clue–I’ll let you go down your own rabbit hole on that one. There is so much more I learned and felt called to pass along to others, but I’ll leave it here for now.[scroll down to keep reading]
Plan Your School Year
With that being said, I recommend intentionally drafting out your school year. It doesn’t have to be anything set in stone, just a draft of built-in rest and ways to grow yourself as a human throughout the year. While you’re making this, consider micro-planning (weekends) and macro-planning (long-weekends and school holidays). Here’s my draft:
- Staycation over Labor Day
- Shorty September and vlogging every day
- Pictured Rocks with a friend
- Victober + spooky reads
- Seeing Lion King in Chicago
- Nonfiction November
- Seeing Wicked in Chicago
- Pack Up and Go mystery trip that I made my mom for Christmas
- Goals, etc.
- Vermont with my mom
- Woodcock watching adventures at the nature center
- Solo Pack Up and Go trip?
- My birthday!
Design Your Plan
If you decide to draft out your year, please let me know and consider writing a response blog to let everyone know how it went. I wish you all the most amazing first few months of the new school year!
About Karen Evans
Karen is a 6th grade special education teacher in Muskegon, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, a Master’s in Measurement and Evaluation, and has studied educational leadership with an emphasis on Special Education Administration at Grand Valley State University. Her goal in the classroom is to use trauma-informed practices to make all students feel seen, heard, and loved as she equips them to see their own strengths, set and take ownership of learning goals, and achieve excellence. In her free time, Karen enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, playing board games, and spending time with family and friends. She is also very involved in the book community advocating for LGBTQIA texts to be included in classroom instruction, posting video reviews of books on her BookTube Channel, meeting authors, and serving as secretary of her local library’s board.