“Always take some of the play, fun, freedom, and wonder of the weekend into your week and your work.”
Me: “How was your day, Ma’am?”
Teacher: “It’s been very hectic. I have had no free time today during the school hours. And have to carry work home as have a submission due tomorrow.”
This is the most common reply that I receive from teachers.
In my field of work (Talent Acquisition), it is very important to be aware of what a teacher’s life is like. I have been fortunate enough to speak with many teachers and understand their interests, struggles and feelings. Like other professionals, teachers also find it difficult to balance work-life.
“Life” consists of career, family, friends, health, enjoyment, and more. You can’t separate these out when considering your happiness.
But trying to balance all of these areas of life can feel overwhelming—and sometimes downright impossible.
Through this blog, I wish to help teachers in rethinking the idea of balance.
1. Stop writing your to-do lists on post-it notes and pasting them all over your laptop. This creates a perception of a workload that is unorganized. Centralize your to-do list into a notebook or device.
I had read it somewhere that one of the secrets of very productive people is that they don’t use to-do lists at all – they schedule tasks. Try it and see if you feel more in control.
2. ASK for help/assistance at schools AND at home.
Don’t try and do everything yourself. You cannot delegate your teaching tasks, but younger students can be assigned simple tasks, like helping to keep classroom material and spaces orderly. Do not hesitate to ask for help to your peers and supervisors.
Similarly, resist the urge to do everything at home. When you’re able to get support at home and school, it’ll free up much-needed time for yourself.
3. Step out of the victim mindset
All of us have choices; professionally and in personal lives. It’s your responsibility to live your life and how you work as a teacher. Do not keep thinking: “I was unable to take my child for a movie because I had to finish a lesson plan”. Instead, sort out your priorities in such a way that it does not put you in the victim’s spot.
4. Start checking your emails and messages when you have time to respond.
Resist the urge to respond immediately. No supervisor expects you to respond to the message in next 5 minutes. Understand the difference between urgent and non-urgent matters and act accordingly.
5. You have to balance your passions, not your time.
You may enjoy teaching, but it is your work. Some may enjoy putting in extra time always. At some point in time you will be at a risk of burning out. Your body will remind you that you are stressed.
Lastly, please remember to celebrate even small accomplishments. A Teacher is no less than a superhero for her students. Being healthy and happy is a great step towards being a great teacher!
— by Krina —