Educators are notorious for literally bringing their work home with them. But teachers can have a work-life balance by following these tips.
Educators never get a break. Oftentimes they see their students in their community, grade papers and plan lessons, and become emotionally invested in the lives of each of their students — all outside of classroom hours. Children of teachers can sometimes feel they rank below their parents’ other “kids” at times. To avoid burnout and keep yourself happy at work and at home, remind yourself that teachers can have a work-life balance and follow these tips for creating it.
1. Set an “Off-Duty” Time
Sometimes it feels like your workload is never ending, but it’s important to make time specifically dedicated to your family and social life. Set aside a time, say from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. each night, that you are simply not allowed to think about school. Instead, that time is spent eating dinner with your family, engaging in a favorite hobby, or watching your child’s soccer game.
You can also dedicate a weekend day like Saturday to being completely work-free — just make sure you use your time off to the fullest.
2. Maintain a Schedule
Think of when you can be the most productive, perhaps that’s before school starts or after your children have gone to bed for the night, and set aside that time to grade papers or create lesson plans. Life can be hectic, but try to organize, plan and adhere to your schedules.
It might seem a little unromantic to block off time for your spouse or loved ones on a calendar, but doing so can help you make time for everything that’s important in your life.
3. Stop Taking Work Home with You
It may feel like you’ll never be able to finish grading papers unless you bring them to your house over the weekend, but sometimes a line needs to be drawn. Some teachers can have a work-life balance by doing all their work at school.
Decide whether it works best for your schedule to come to school early or stay after, and dedicate that time to classroom needs. Prioritize your duties so that if something is not accomplished within those hours, it is not that important and can be put on hold. Then when you head home, you’ll be able to focus on that part of your life.
4. Be More Efficient
In addition, be sure to type, save, and organize lesson plans so you can easily update and reuse the best ones next year. Make time to reflect on lessons at the end of each day so you can note what went well and what needs improvement on the lesson plan while it’s still fresh in your mind.
5. Stay Positive
It’s easy to feel like work is getting in the way of other things you want to do. However, instead of saying “If I don’t grade these tests, I won’t have time for the gym today,” flip it to say “I’ll finish these and then I’ll go for a run.” Don’t let negative thoughts get you down.
Teachers can have a work-life balance, and the benefits are well worth the effort. By rejuvenating at home, you’ll exercise more mindfulness in the classroom. And by working hard at school, you’ll be able to relax when the day is done.