My Not-to-Do List for Spring Break

My Not-to-Do List for Spring Break

Spring break is here. I have a lot of items on my to-do list this coming week: Set up a new raised garden bed with my family; Clean up my existing garden beds (see photo); Finish the Silo series by Hugh Howey; Put together my manuscript for my first book; Paint my son’s bedroom; Get that outlet fixed in our main bathroom.

When taking some time for ourselves, I also think it is important that we create a not-to-do list. It is so tempting to stay plugged into our digital feeds. We might miss something! But when do we give ourselves time to consider what we have learned? In my experience, my time away from my connections has allowed me to reflect on what I discovered and consider how it applies within my context. I don’t think we take enough time to think deeply about those few essential ideas that can blossom into something bigger, if we only give them time to grow.

So here is my not-to-do list: For one week, I am taking a tech sabbatical from Twitter, my blog, and other social media that keep me loosely attached to school. Otherwise it might be like I never left. I will be a better principal, friend, husband, and father because of it. When circumstances allow, consider a tech sabbatical for yourself.

Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is an 18-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th-grade teacher in Rudolph, WI. He now serves as an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District ( Matt also teaches online graduate courses in curriculum design and instructional leadership for the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD ( and Lead Literacy (

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