HomepageISTEEdSurge
Skip to content
ascd logo

Log in to Witsby: ASCD’s Next-Generation Professional Learning and Credentialing Platform
Join ASCD
June 1, 2018
Vol. 75
No. 9

Focus on the Big Picture

    Stories and advice from school veterans on maintaining your spirit and your perspective in a challenging profession.

    premium resources logo

    Premium Resource

    School Culture
      I've spent 24 years as a teacher and principal in public schools. This work never feels like a burden to me because I provide myself with opportunities to step away from the job. I spend our school breaks traveling to new places, such as Australia, Mexico, England, and Paris, which allows me to view things other than the day-to-day dramas and challenges of school and to focus on being a wife and a mother to my own children. These trips are my brain breaks from the "regular."
      Travel reinforces why my work is so critical. These learning opportunities are a chance to educate myself about the world, and since education is the cornerstone of everything I do, traveling helps to reinforce the mission of my work while exposing me to the beauty of the world. The day I return from a journey is an opportunity to come "home," to where my students and colleagues are, and to embrace the familiarity. I can then look at the work of educating children with a slightly different perspective than I had before I left.
      Some skeptics suggest traveling is too expensive on an educator's salary. I would argue it's too expensive not to use our breaks to pour experiences and knowledge into ourselves rather than just into others. I budget for travel like I do for all the important things in life, and if it means I drive a seven-year-old car instead of a new one, then that is a good payoff for me. It keeps me grounded, optimistic, and fresh, and that is the best preventative medicine against burnout.

      Figure

      el201806_composite_fig1.jpg

      Susan Stone Kessler traveled to Ketchikan, Alaska, with her family. She says travel helps to reinforce the mission of her work as an educator. Photo courtesy of Susan Stone Kessler

      Author bio coming soon.

      Learn More

      ASCD is a community dedicated to educators' professional growth and well-being.

      Let us help you put your vision into action.
      Related Articles
      View all
      undefined
      School Culture
      There’s Not Just One Path to Success
      Jen Schwanke
      2 weeks ago

      undefined
      When It Comes to Teamwork, EI Outshines IQ
      Kate Stoltzfus
      2 months ago

      undefined
      Taking Note
      Kate Stoltzfus
      2 months ago

      undefined
      4 Pillars of School Mental Health
      Juan-Diego Estrada & Stephen Popp
      2 months ago

      undefined
      School Counselor Gap Narrowing
      Educational Leadership Staff
      5 months ago
      Related Articles
      There’s Not Just One Path to Success
      Jen Schwanke
      2 weeks ago

      When It Comes to Teamwork, EI Outshines IQ
      Kate Stoltzfus
      2 months ago

      Taking Note
      Kate Stoltzfus
      2 months ago

      4 Pillars of School Mental Health
      Juan-Diego Estrada & Stephen Popp
      2 months ago

      School Counselor Gap Narrowing
      Educational Leadership Staff
      5 months ago
      From our issue
      Product cover image 118071b.jpg
      Fighting Educator Burnout
      Go To Publication