They could be waiting in front of you at a Chipotle, cheering in the same row at a sports game or even sitting two seats down from you on an airplane. It is never guaranteed that you will not bump into a teacher during an off-time from school. In fact, on any weekday as the clock slowly ticks past 2:30 p.m., a teacher can be just as ecstatic to leave as you are.
The end of the final school day before a break opens a great portal of possibilities to all who have sat there for seven straight hours. While the students cannot wait to leave campus to have a week full of non-academic adventure, teachers are often just as eager to pack a suitcase or download an ebook for a well-deserved week of entertainment and relaxation.
Over spring break, junior Dylan Strauss enjoyed hanging out and playing golf with his friends. He speculates that while most students like to be outside and go on trips with friends during school breaks, teachers might have to spend time inside catching up on grading papers. “If they do get time away from grading, I think they would like to read and have some alone time,” Strauss said.
In actuality, teachers like English teacher Kristen Haynes seem to enjoy being as active as possible during breaks. “I went to New Orleans one break a while back and it was awesome,” Haynes said. “I got to eat at 13 restaurants in three days while I was there.”
Although their breaks can be full of interesting, entertaining activities, teachers can also have unpleasant experiences, not just because they may have to grade papers during these times. “Back in 2009, I really wanted to go out and enjoy myself over winter break,” Haynes said, “but I ended up being snowed into my apartment for two and a half days instead.”
Occasionally during breaks, science teacher Jake Buxton goes to North Carolina to visit family and friends where he grew up. He likes to stay physically active on off-periods through exercise, and last year he visited Zion National Park for spring break. “It was my dad, my son and I at Zion, where we got to go hiking, biking and rock-climbing,” Buxton said.
As well as being relatable to students in their desire to make the most of a break, teachers can also experience the same emotional highs and lows from when the break begins to when it ends. “As soon as it starts, I’m so relieved,” Haynes said. “Then on the last day of an off-period, I start to get anxious about school starting back up again.”
Overall, teachers seem to value their breaks just as much as students do. Regardless of how much shorter spring break will be next year due to a new school year plan, Buxton is already formulating possible plans for 2019. “I really want to find some time next school year to do a cycle tour,” Buxton said. “Maybe on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.”
Next year, Haynes hopes to do a road trip with friends over spring break but she is worried that she will may not have enough time to do it. According to MCPS’ proposed calendar for the 2018-2019 school year, spring break will only last from Apr. 17 until Apr. 22. “I am disappointed our spring break is so short next year,” Haynes said, “because I might not get to take a road trip down the east coast next year.”