Students everywhere wait in anticipation for the beloved winter break to begin, but what about the teachers? While thinking of the mini vacation, we typically think of the students, when in reality the educators may be the ones who value it more.
Joseph Miller has been working at Howell High School for 14 years. He currently teaches English and Yearbook Journalism but soon he will be getting a break, much like everyone else when Christmas vacation comes around.
During the break, Miller plans on spending time with his family, while doing their yearly tradition of baking a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas day. The bright lights and feeling of the Christmas spirit spreading excites Miller the most when it comes to the holidays. Although he loves the holiday cheer, Miller can’t help but love when the frosty winter comes to an end.
“My favorite holiday experience was probably last year. I always host Christmas, I have a big family… we had fun, played a lot of games, and it was good because my dad has Alzheimer’s, and it was a good day for him, so I think that was kind of memorable.” Miller said.
Teaching for twelve years, Tracy Flak has had her fair share of long Christmas breaks. Interesting enough though, her favorite holiday experience was when she was much younger. The idea of relaxing with family, and not having to set her alarm fills Flak with joy while thinking of the holiday vacation. Along with the many days we have off for Christmas break, Flak can’t wait for the many snow days that, hopefully, lie ahead.
She thought back to that night before Christmas, “My little brother woke up while my parents were playing ‘Santa’, and I ran him back to his room, read him a book, and lay next to him until he fell asleep for real,” Flak said.
Nick Simon has taught at Howell for seven years, and he still hasn’t gotten used to the excitement of our long vacation away from school.
Being a U.S History, and Economics teacher can be pretty overwhelming, so Simon relishes in the idea of being able to relax in his basement with loved ones while binge-watching a new T.V series. Simon also enjoys getting takeout Chinese food on Christmas Eve, while watching ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’. Unfortunately, Simon usually has some work to do during Christmas break, due to his tendency to procrastinate, but he always gets through it and makes sure he spends time with his family.
“Last year was probably my favorite because, it was the first year Charlotte realized what Christmas was, and understood how to open gifts, and seeing just how excited she was about everything,” Simon said about his daughter.
Algebra 2 and Personal Finance teacher Kristy McDonald, has been teaching for 12 years, two of them being at Howell High School. Being with family, not having to work, and seeing all the decorations is McDonald’s favorite part about the Christmas break.
“Over winter break, I typically try to do something family oriented, like going to Bronner’s is something I really like to do,” McDonald says, “We’re trying to make that a tradition to go and pick out ornaments. All the kids get one, and then we get a family one to engrave the year on it.”
The joy that her children bring to her, is enough to fill anyone’s heart. You can see the love in her eyes as she talks about watching them sled and open presents.
Luckily, she does not have to work during the holiday break, as she stays late the last day to make sure she gets it all done.
Jeff Klapper, Geometry and AP Calculus teacher, has worked at Howell High School since 2004. His Christmas breaks are filled with excitement, from family ski trips, too late night Christmas Eve nights.
Advent Calendars are a tradition in the Klapper household, along with loved ones filling their home all Christmas break long.
“I love ski trips with my family,” Klapper says about the winter season, “I also enjoy being in a warm, cozy place when it’s cold and snowing outside. It’s just a great feeling.” Klapper said.
He might not think they like the break more than students, but he does know teachers may enjoy snow days more than us students. The call brings pure happiness to him, even saving the programmed school recording number in his phone as ‘Snow Day’.
There is no doubt that this holiday season brings warmth to everyone’s hearts, no matter what age or how cold the weather may be.