We have an early Spring Break this year, and this week is our break (my own kids, who go to a different district than the one I teach in, have break at the end of March). So far I have avoided doing anything school related, and even leave an auto-responder letting people know that if they e-mail, I will get back to them when school is back in session. I learned to turn off school e-mail on my personal devices at my last school, where parents would e-mail at 2:00 AM and expect an immediate response (yes, this behavior actually occured from several parents). So one of my personal rules is: if I am not at school (sick/staff development/leading development sessions/presenting/break), I do not check or respond to e-mail. In the summer I only check e-mail twice a month. If there is an emergency, the school knows how to contact me. But let's be honest…99.999% of what we receive cannot be labeled an emergency.
I also try to limit the amount of school work I do in the summer. Two years ago, I spent evenings (9pm-1am) in my “new” room, cataloging and scanning the choir library, and turning the room into a useable (for my standards) space. Last summer I didn't do much at all. I will typically try to come in for tech meetings (rare) and to help out with the iPad rollouts. But other than that…my job when I'm not at work is to be a husband and a dad.
My Spring Break has been spent (so far) putting the final touches on the basement we have been finishing since last year (we paused last April when the basement went over budget and we ran out of money). My goal has been for the basement to be ready for carpet by the end of this week…and I am going to make it–without even pulling an over-nighter to do so. It is strange to be on break when no one (other than our soon to be 3 year old) else is on break. I do have about 20 scores to get cleaned up for use at school (In digital format), and I may start on those soon (is the weekend before the end of a break still “break”.)
Chances are that if you are a music educator, you have a spring break ahead of you. Do yourself a favor…turn off your school e-mai, leave an auto-response message, and just get away from it all.