School Breaks – a Time to Rejuvenate – Here’s How

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Most teachers love their work; we have a passion for helping children learn, but the job is exhausting.

Karen Walsh, fifth grade teacher at the United Nations International School, Hanoi, Vietnam. adds a big grin to her finger snappin'.

Karen Walsh, a fifth grade teacher, looks for creative ways to rejuvenate during school breaks.

Kids think that vacation time is for them…ha! Teachers know better!

School breaks are a time for educators to rejuvenate.

Here’s how…pay attention to yourself and work restful magic with attentionology tricks…

"Who besides me, says the teacher, is READY for vacation from school?"

Most teachers love their work; it’s a passion as much as a paycheck. But it is exhausting! Hooray for school breaks – time to rejuvenate!

Use a Sensory Bridge to Rejuvenate – What’s a sensory bridge?

According to artist Peter J. Woytuk, “art (and other rejuvenators, including “silly stuff”) form a sensory bridge to expand our awareness, make connections and deepen our appreciation of the natural world.”

Start with Laughter – A quick read (author unknown) of actual answers given on history tests and in Sunday school quizzes by students in fifth grade in the state of Ohio (US) might make you laugh…

Ancient Egypt was old. It was inhabited by gypsies and mummies who all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. The climate of the Sarah is such that all the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

It’s an Olympic year, so let’s head to Greece, where the Olympic games began, for the next quiz answer…

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a young female moth.

In the first Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled biscuits, and threw java. The games were messier then than they show on TV now.

Wear a SmileWhy are smiles so easy to wear? “asks H.T. Conner, who has written a fair share of funnies in his more than ninety years.

Answer: “They come in all sizes.”

“What is laughter?” he asks.

Answer: “A smile that multiplies, and a giggle is a run-away smile.”

H.T. laughs himself when he asks, “What do humans have in common with a yo-yo?”

Answer: “They have their ups and downs.” 

De-stress A.S.A.P. – Always Say A Poem – Try this school break – time to rejuvenate trick – say a poem aloud.

Medical research shows that reciting rhythmic verse slows your heart rate and helps calm you.

I made up the following silly school break poem for teachers with demanding families; hope you enjoy it:

Oh no, I”m getting more home demands

when school’s gone on break!

Why don’t YOU get the mop; YOU get the rake.

See, I would if I could, but I can’t, so I won’t.

Don’t look at me like I’M not cool;

chores tomorrow; I’m heading for the pool!

Tap Your Inner Poet! – Make up a poem from what you see.

Rejuvenate by walking with your eyes across a sensory bridge. Go outside or look out a window.

A yellow lattice fence and multi-colored pansies may be the subject of a free-verse poem.

A yellow lattice fence and multi-colored pansies may be the subject of a free-verse poem.

Picture a garden of creativity, and say/write what you see.

Here’s a free-verse poem I wrote with this creative technique that uses the power of personification:


You play tricks with the sunlight,

Draw long shadows across a rowboat’s bow,

Host a game of hide and seek with songbirds,

Reach stately to the sky as the moonlight dances between your branches.

Take a Brain Break – Sometimes, it’s best to simply take a brain break!

STOP…turn everything off.

BREATHE…Mentally excuse yourself from your circumstances.

GO…to a quiet place in your mind. Where do you wish you could be? Why are you where you are? Pretend you “just landed at the place you want to be.” What do you like about it? Soak up a sense of rejuvenation.

Include Breaks from Technology – Research suggests that more of us, especially college-age and under, are becoming disconnected from inter-person communications.

This research has been featured on numerous media venues, including “CBS Sunday Morning” (US network program) with host, Charles Osgood.

His feature aired some time back but is still a hot topic today.

The feature detailed a study in which young people began to panic when they “surrendered” their cell phones for 24-hours of no texting. Some opted out of the study because they couldn’t stand life un-wired. One student who was interviewed for the study reported that he dislikes in-person conversations because they take place in real-time and can’t be controlled.

Teachers, like anyone, can’t always control circumstances. That’s why it’s important to find time during school breaks. When we feel rejuvenated we can manage in school better when the bell rings again.

Please send comments about how you rejuvenate during school breaks.

Remember you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in (or out of) any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet




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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Students are having trouble writing connecting sentences between the beginning, middle and end of a story.

Solution: Show toy airplanes, pretending to make them "take off" across notebook paper. Explain to the class that stories, like airplanes, require clear "flight paths."

Related Posts: Become the Classroom of the Traveling Story!