If you’re a teacher or someone who knows a teacher, then you know that heading back to school in the fall can swing the work-life balance pendulum straight in the wrong direction. Lots of teachers I know struggle all year long trying to teach their hearts out all day and still have something left for their family and friends outside of school. It’s tough. Today I’m excited to bring you a guest post that will help!
Advice for Teachers on How to Prepare and Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
by Sarah Cummings
Are you fresh to the world of being a fully-fledged educator? If so, then this is the article for you because it’s full of advice and information on how you can get ready for and uphold a healthy work-life balance as a teacher.
It’s important that you don’t get too heavily dependent or stuck in one or the other or the neglected will suffer. If you enjoy too much of what you’re doing out-of-work, you won’t get the best out of your job and ultimately, your students will suffer. On the flipside, if you are too focused on work, it can also be unhealthy for your mind and body.
It might sound cliché, but it’s really all about balance. To help find this balance, you can take our tips away with you to use to your advantage.
Set limits for students’ work
If you’re fearing being snowed under with a mound of marking that leaves you with little time to do anything else, then try limiting the amount they have to write for you.
Put a cap on the word limit and then at least you can contain how much you are going to have to work through and mark. What’s more, this might actually help your students to fill their work with good info instead of padding it out with irrelevant content just to hit the word count.
Keep exercise in your life
Physical exercise that gets you moving after being relatively sedentary during work hours is a vital part of your work-life balance. You can join a class; anything from yoga to HITT and body-pump is just fine. The choice is yours, but exercise needs to be in your life.
If you get out and do an activity, it helps to keep your social life alive, offers the opportunity to meet new people and also gives you the chance to switch off from your job, even if it’s just for an hour or so.
Exercise helps with your mental well-being too, so if times are a little testing at work, exercise is there to help clear your mind and relieve you of the strains of the day. You can always do something solo as well if you fancy some alone time but still want the benefits associated with exercise.
Establish a positive mindset
If you find yourself dealing with a negative outlook of feeling trapped inside work, or unable to get a handle on the balance you need then it’s time to be more self-assured in regard to exactly what you can and can’t do, and will and won’t do. This is a positive step to gaining a more fluent work-life balance.
Be confident and assertive when you realise that there is something you can do; there are always measures you can take, so take on board your own constructive criticism and let it guide you to a better work-life balance.
Are your lesson plans not as effective and engaging as they used to be? Are you looking to capture the imagination of a particular student? There’s nothing stopping you from progressing yourself and becoming a better person and teacher from what you find out about yourself. It’s simply a case of using your own positive mindset to move forward.
Work stays at work
You may be seeing this and thinking that it’s just not a workable option, but look at it this way; if your work isn’t done between the working hours you set it can’t be that essential.
To help with this, prepare yourself a reliable to-do list that you can trust and stick to every day. If you start taking work home with you, and this isn’t always in the literal sense, it can be the mental one too, then you’re opening the door for it to potentially snowball.
Staying in control is key, and if you know how to switch off and when you should be doing so then this will help. We like routine and structure, so let it assist you in forming the ideal work-life balance.
Get good sleep
No doubt you will be keen to enjoy this tip! We all love sleep and luckily, it’s among one of the best things to help you be a rounded, fully functioning person.
If you enjoy the recommended amount of sleep regularly then you put yourself on track to better deal with issues that you might otherwise struggle to deal with effectively if you’re enduring poor-quality sleep.
Create a support network
You can find that many of your problems and stress will be easily ironed out if you have people that you can talk to inside and outside of work. By having people that you can trust to go to for advice, guidance, or just a listening ear it can make things much more manageable.
Let it be known that it works both ways and actively give support too. We’re stronger together and this is a positive way to stay happy and healthy.
AUTHOR: Sarah Cummings
When I’m not learning more about sleep-based topics, you can regularly find me spending time at the back of a yoga class or horse riding. I enjoy learning and coming up with new ways to develop my writing so that I can help others to grow and learn too.
I have a keen passion for Pilates and pottery. I find that both help my mind to relax and improve my overall outlook on life. I’m a strong advocate of promoting sleep and how it can make the difference between living a healthy, fulfilled life and one that does not reach these enjoyable levels.