You have just ended your class, and now you prepare for after-school-activities. You haven’t had lunch yet, so you’re thinking of munching a cereal bar whilst walking to the next classroom. You tell yourself that you can mark the test papers at home after you finished making dinner for the family. The thought of spending weekends in bed excites you, and then you realise that it’s Monday again, and you’re back to the full swing of work.
Teachers often complain about having an unhealthy life-work balance. Don’t let work take over your life, as it leads to a stressed, ultimately burnt out you.
Remember that with a healthier balance, you’re more enthused, inspired and energetic in both your work and at home. Here at Cassidy we care about you and your health so we compiled the best tips for you to manage your life and work properly.
- Make a list of your priorities. Make a list of those that are important to you and decide when to give them time. Remember that your life is not all about work, and so are your priorities: your family life, hobbies and interests should also be prioritised. Ask yourself which is more important to you: preparing a detailed lesson for a classroom observation or taking your children to the park for some quality time?
- Learn how to say “no”. If you don’t have time to do certain tasks, tell people politely (and firmly) that you won’t have time or won’t be able to do it. It can be anyone from your class, supervisor or even your head teacher. Remember that head teachers are not necessarily impressed by someone who says “yes” to everything all the time. More often than not, they are grateful for those who are willing to offer some time for help.
- Draw a clear line between work and leisure. Work when it’s work time – don’t get distracted. Shut yourself away for however long it takes and when you’re done, stop. Stop thinking about it and do something different to give your mind a rest and a real break.
- Delegate tasks. Do you really need to do everything? If you have a teaching assistant or a team of staff, let them carry some of the burden. They will be more than willing to take on some responsibility – it’s their job in the first place! Don’t be afraid to ask for support, and besides, working with your team is much more fun too.
- Get out. With this, we mean get out of the classroom. Being stuck inside the four corners of your classroom can do terrible things for your morale. Get a proper break, have a nice healthy lunch with your colleagues, take a walk. Give yourself some time to relax and be inspired before the classroom feels like an oppressive prison for you.
Remember, you are important, and you work to live – not live to work. Smile and always be kind to yourself. Instead of saying, “I can’t see my friends because of this pile of work,” tell yourself, “I’ll call my friends after I finish marking these papers.” It’s more positive and it will bring success for you.