If I could give a new teacher advice, I would say it is very important that you learn about how to achieve a work life balance in your beginning years before teacher burnout sets in. It can be difficult for new and seasoned teachers to achieve a work-life balance. The demands of home and school don’t decrease during your busiest seasons (reporting and testing).
Several teachers have shared their tips below on how to manage school work and your home life as a new teacher.
New Teacher Advice: Tips To Help Achieve a Work Life Balance
- I try to achieve a work life balance by staying late one night a week to grade work and prep photocopies. This way, I am not constantly bringing a full marking bag back and forth to school daily. I also learned NOT to socialize during prep time. Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog
- Limit the number of times a day that you’ll check your work email outside of work. Sara C. from The Responsive Counsellor
- Create a calendar of what you plan to do each day of the week. Try and keep work away from home so you are able to relax and be rejuvenated to teach. Often times I will bring work home with the idea I will do it there. I am learning to put it right back in the car and focus on my family instead. It has helped so much this year. Laura Zank from Research Based Teaching Tools
- Identify your biggest time-wasters, and adopt practices to help you become more efficient in those areas. Is social media a distraction? Turn off your phone, and don’t have it near you during your prep period or while grading papers. Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to spend with your family? Assign your students less homework, or develop grading practices that make the job more efficient. Have you been skipping your workouts? Don’t! They’ll energize you and give you happy endorphins that will lift your mood both at work and at home. Melissa from The Reading and Writing Haven
- It’s so important to learn how to take time for yourself and leave work “at work.” If you’ve got to take work home, block out a set amount of time (perhaps one weeknight for one hour and one weekend day for one hour) and stick to it! Make plans for the other nights so that you’re not tempted to sit around and think about school. Danielle from Teach Nouvelle
- My veteran teacher Dad turned Dean turned Assistant Principal always told me, “Just be ready for the next day.” As long as that was accomplished, that was enough for that day. Lisa Spangler from Mrs. Spangler in the Middle
- One day with no work is an absolute must. Teaching can be all-consuming. There is always something else to do. To keep it balanced, spend one day of your weekend doing something not related at all to teaching – no email, no grading, no lesson planning, etc. Instead, do something you love…take a hike, read a book, cook an extravagant meal, or just lounge. You will be a much happier person and a better teacher just by taking a day every week. Doc from Education with Doc Running
- As a veteran teacher, I encourage younger teachers to remember that there is a difference between busyness and productivity. Prioritize your to-do list, follow a schedule but allow flexibility for those times things crop up, let go of being a perfectionist AND, MOST IMPORTANT – Delegate. You don’t have to do everything yourself; assign tasks to your students, your family, parent volunteers, etc. Jenny Newberry from Bulletin Board Bonanza
How do you achieve a work life balance? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Connect with me on social media (@2peasandadog) and let me know how you manage to achieve a work life balance when it comes to teaching.