Vail Daily letter: Educator’s holiday top five
First, on behalf of everyone associated with Eagle County Schools, happy holidays to you and your family! We are fortunate to live and work in such a supportive community that is committed to quality schools and to positive outcomes for all our kids.
Given this time of year is for being with family, admiring the beauty of the season, and (for many) a spiritual centering, I’ll keep this week’s column short. At the time of this writing, I still had plenty of last minute shopping and wrapping to do!
So, I’ll leave you with a brief top-five list of the best things about the holidays from an educator’s perspective.
• Holiday goodies. Many of you know that my wife, Sarah, is a teacher. Each year, she comes home loaded with candies, cookies and baked goods, and any number of items (ranging from downright dazzling to just puzzling) that are given as gifts by students and families. For most teachers, there is no need to purchase or create holiday goodies or trinkets because the students provide armloads of it in the days leading up to the holiday break!
• Getting to act like a tourist in our community. For most Eagle County Schools teachers, at least part of the equation for why they live and work in our community had to do with the lifestyle and activities our community affords. During the holiday break, our staff members get out and “play hard,” taking full advantage of the wonderful skiing, snowboarding and other winter activities that are right outside our doors.
• Not having to create lessons for almost two weeks. Most educators spend several hours each week (on top of direct classroom instructional time) in planning, gathering classroom materials and grading or providing individual feedback to students. While education is profession built on the art of reflection (having time to really think about what is happening and adapting based on that), the holidays come as we welcome mid-year break for most teachers.
• Seeing our students and families outside of school. Holiday shopping, dining and taking part in the abundance of yule-tide activities is part of the season everywhere. For educators, it’s also a chance to run into students and families in a different setting than school. If you ever want to experience something close to being a rock star, hang around a teacher at any popular shopping area and notice how students just light up when they see their teacher this time of year. No doubt about it — our educators are loved!
• Recharging for the New Year. This marks roughly the half-way point for the school year and the holidays are also a time for our educators to get their energy recharged and ready to go so they can create excitement and curiosity around teaching and learning when schools reopen.
The teachers, administrators, support staff and volunteers of Eagle County Schools love this community and our kids. We wish you a joyful season and hope you enjoy some quality time with your families. Get out there and take advantage of the “winter wonderland” we all get to call home!
Jason E. Glass is the superintendent of Eagle County Schools. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.