A Needed Rest

Some teachers have been heard to say, “The best part of teaching is . . . June, July, and August.” While most teachers I know use their summer to prepare for a successful school year, the summer break also provides the chance for them to spend more time with their own children, visit relatives, explore the country, or pursue a hobby. What about teachers who take courses during the summer? Don’t they ever get a chance to rest? I had an interesting conversation about that with some teachers who were on the MLC campus taking a summer school course recently.

They said that the opportunity to be immersed in learning and conversation about a topic important to them as teachers actually provides a mental break that renews and energizes them. While they weren’t willing to go so far as to call summer coursework a vacation, they were excited for the personal benefits they were experiencing and the impact it would have on the students and families they serve. They agreed with one graduate student who wrote in a survey about the master’s program, “It has renewed my ministry. I feel more empowered to serve.”

It seems there are many types of rest. Jesus provides rest for our weary souls and burdened consciences. Time with family and friends restores and deepens our relationships. Hobbies and sight-seeing provide rest for our mind and senses. And many teachers find that cognitive stimulation around their passion–serving children and families with a Christ-centered education—provides rest and new energy for their ministries.