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How to Achieve and Maintain Work Life Balance as a Teacher?
By Ryan Crawley,
24 Jan 2020
Once the school year starts, it becomes more difficult to achieve and maintain work life balance.
We get so busy with work that we even bring papers home every night for marking or create lesson plans.
It is quite easy to let teaching alter your work life balance.
My friends know that I am usually not able to go out and do things until late in winter, spring, or even summer break.
Basically, if I don’t watch it, I become a three months friend and disregard family and friend time for the other nine months during the school year.
I am sure that many of you have had the same problem.
My father was a teacher along with many of my aunts and uncles, and growing up, I would often hear about how busy they were.
I experienced my father being gone all day and quite a few nights for teaching and coaching firsthand.
However, there are ways that can help to achieve work life balance.
It does not have to be one or the other.
Below are some ways to balance out your life during the school year.
Please comment below any other ideas you might have about keeping the balance when you are a teacher.
Have a Consistent Family Night
Teachers like to keep on schedule.
Their day is actually one big constant schedule.
Name any other career where you have to carefully plan out your time just so you have the chance to go for meals.
Because we follow planned schedules so well, choose a night each week to have family time.
It is best to have it be the same night every week so everyone can work their schedule around it without it changing and confusing everyone.
The family night could be as simple as going to see a movie or having dinner together.
The key is that you are spending consistent time with your loved ones.
We all have had those friends that get busy with their job or start seeing someone new and they forget about everything else in their life.
Don’t be this person.
If you don’t make time for your friends, you won’t have any friends left.
Your retirement will be spent watching movies on the couch all day in a house full of cats.
Just like you should choose a night out during the week with your family, you should be doing the same with your friends.
Being able to talk to a buddy can help alleviate any insanity going on in your world from work and can be best way of achieving work life balance.
And many times it is much easier to talk to a friend rather than your spouse about certain things.
Don’t Bring Your Work Home with You
This is a difficult one for most teachers.
Just look at teachers walking out to their cars at the end of every day.
They are usually toting a very large and heavy bag of material with them.
Slowly, start to wean yourself off from bringing things home with you.
You might have to eliminate one subject at a time until you can figure out how to get all your work completed while you are at school.
It is not an easy thing to do.
You might have to skip a few lunches and provide your students more independent work to keep them busy so you can get things done.
Eliminate the Busy Work
Teachers often have the idea that keeping students as busy as possible is for the best.
I never liked this way of teaching.
I always want to give the students authentic work to do rather than load them up with worksheets.
Busy work should be eliminated and replaced with something else because it not only keeps the students busy, but it keeps you preoccupied with constantly grading papers.
Combine the Two Worlds
Combining work life with social life is something that I enjoy doing.
This does not mean bringing your class field trips to your home, but bringing friends and family into your classroom.
I bet if you scan the contacts in your phone at this moment, you will come across people that could do some great presentations for your class.
Maybe you have a friend that is an engineer and could talk to the class about what his job entails and how math plays a major factor in it.
Perhaps you have a dentist friend that could come and speak about how important science is to the medical field.
Or if you have a friend that makes their living writing, your students would probably love to hear about it.
Bring the characters from your social life into your work life and both should improve.