Teachers’ Work-Life Balance Blunders
Teaching is a tough gig that can consume a teacher’s life. Numerous tasks can keep a teacher going after school until the small hours of the morning unless the teacher is particularly shrewd about how they manage their time.
Are you sabotaging your work-life balance? Read these common work-life balance mistakes to find out…
5. Failing to delegate
If you’re in a school lucky enough to have classroom assistants, then you must work out a way of having them carry out some of the more time consuming tasks that are not directly related to teaching, learning and assessment (e.g. laminating, photocopying, data entry). Of course support staff are primarily needed to support children’s learning but the most effective teachers use them in a variety of ways and not just for supporting pupils in lessons.
4. Not using technology effectively
The internet is both your best friend and your worst enemy when it comes to draining away your free time. Whilst having access to websites like the TES can save you making resources, it can also suck you into a cycle of spending too much time looking online for the next new display poster or worksheet. Stop doing this! Find a resource that meets your requirements and commit to using it. There probably won’t be a better one and if there is, it’s probably not worth the time you would spend trying to find it.
3. Not having a cut off time
Every teacher needs a ‘cut off’ time. This is a time where the teacher decides enough is enough and leaves work at work where it belongs. A teacher whose work-life balance is in a particularly poor state should stick to a time where they leave school each day and take nothing else home with them. It’s truly the most effective way of keeping your home a place of rest and relaxation and free from the burdens of teaching.
Teachers are passionate about their roles and believe that children deserve the best so they strive to make every aspect of their practice perfect. But here’s the thing with perfection – it’s unattainable. Teachers should thus stop aiming for perfection and be satisfied with just doing a good job. Ultimately, children don’t care if a resource is laminated or not. They don’t care if a display is pretty or not. They don’t care about the detail of the planning. What they do care about is their teacher’s energy; attitude; sense of humour and overall effectiveness which can be maximised once the teacher stops aiming for perfection and does a good job consistently.
1. Letting your conscience get the better of you and believing you can get it all done
A mentor once told me that to thrive or even survive in teaching, one has to “let go of their conscience a little bit.” When it comes to your work life balance, this is the best bit of advice anyone could offer you. Your conscience will keep you sat behind your desk thinking that you can get everything done that day when in reality you can’t and even if you could, you would find yourself back at square one the next day. So stop feeling bad about it and just accept it as part of the job!
Without some sort of work-life balance, teacher’s can not deliver truly effective lessons to learners day after day in the classroom. You owe it to yourself and to your pupils to look at the work-life balance mistakes you’re making and find ways to look after yourself and separate your home life from work.
Got a time saving tip that you want to tell us about? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.