1. Take a vacation. Take one day off, one of the weekend days, and go to the beach, the movies, the library. Go where you can in one day and do nothing related to school.
2. Drop one day’s worth of homework. Just take it out of the syllabus. You can drop one from all your courses at once or you can drop one from each over a period of days. Drop one from Class 1 on Monday, one from Class 2 on Wednesday, one from Class 3 on Friday. If you have lots of grading, this will give you a break. And the students will love it too.
3. Grade daily homeworks as “did” or “didn’t do” every once in a while. Don’t tell the students you are going to do that, but do it. Every third small homework: Did, didn’t do.
4. Get to know your students. Do something fun with your students. Spend a day reading riddles and having them write their own for homework. Have them find one article that is relevant to the course, read it, and give a short presentation on it. You’ll find out what they are interested in and maybe find some good readings too.
Focus on what you love about teaching. Look at your syllabus and pull your courses back to a focus on why you wanted to teach. Were you trying to help people write better? Have the students read a good piece and attempt to emulate its style. Were you wanting to advocate for the little people? Find some project and assign all your students to write a letter on the topic. (Make sure they can pick which side they support.)
Pardon me while I go take my own advice.