Teaching can be incredibly demanding and it’s no surprise that due to increased demands, teachers end up taking their work home with them.
So how can you balance work and family like as a teacher? Here are some great tips from Annabelle at SmileTutor…
- Work smarter, not harder
Every teacher will agree that teaching all day and marking work is tiring and often very stressful. It can be tempting to leave tasks such as marking students work to pile up, especially when there are other demands. What we don’t realise is that we are just creating more work for ourselves – that pile soon builds up and can become a bit like the elephant in the corner! So work smarter, not harder. Have a set routine to tackle tasks (even the ones you aren’t so keen on) and stick to them. This will really help you to feel more organised in your working week.
- Refresh regularly
In any workplace there is time for lunch and tea breaks – make sure you take them. But what about a proper break to get some fresh air or change perspective? Working with children and young people all day can be very challenging and it’s important to refresh and reset your system. So do exactly that, take a few minutes away from class to gather yourself again. Doing so regularly will significantly increase your productivity. The best way to do this is to detach yourself from the school setting completely. Get out of the school building and take a walk, or find a natural place in the school playground where you can just go and see something different. This will help you awaken your senses and thoughts. If there is a staff room or quiet space, use this to squeeze in a quick 5 minute meditation (we love HeadSpace)- pop your headphones in and take some time just for you.
- Keep it professional
It is never easy to deal with our job and family demands. However, separating the two can yield good results. Have you ever heard the saying, “mixing business with pleasure”? That’s what we mostly do as teachers. Most of the time we are caught up in our work that we forget to leave the work in the workplace. Why can’t we be like other professionals? If you were a police officer and had to conduct interviews with suspects, would you take the suspects home with you to finish the interviews there? Of course not. As a teacher, remember one thing; you are a teacher when you are at school and when you finish work, your teaching work ends and family life begins. After hours your priorities change and other aspects of your life become important. No work talk over the dinner table.
- Your life outside the classroom
What do you do, just for you? You can’t think about work all the time, it is hazardous both to your health and productivity. You need something that will enable you to unwind and keep your mind off work. After a busy day teaching, commuting, preparing dinner, putting the kids to bed etc. it’s tempting to pour a large glass of wine, but be mindful of your health, as unwinding with a glass of wine can soon become a habit. Make time for friends, exercise, eat well and schedule proper ‘me time’ for yourself. Although rewarding, teaching can be very stressful and it’s especially important to look after your mental health. Create good habits to avoid burnout.
- Get enough sleep
Working as a teacher can give you sleepless nights, especially when you have challenging students and an unmanageable workload. It is also true that insufficient sleep has a detrimental effect on your health. Make sure you focus on getting enough sleep. There are so many benefits that come with having sufficient sleep: sleep helps you recover from stress, keeps your brain sharp and of course keeps you mentally well. So treat yourself with a good night’ sleep – have a relaxing bath, avoid caffeine and alcohol, remove tech from your bedroom and spend half an hour winding down for sleep. According to research, adults should aim to get anywhere between 7 and 9 hours sleep each night.
We hope you enjoy reading these tips. Do you have any suggestions on how to balance work and family life as a teacher? We’d love to hear them – comment below and share your views.
Annabelle is part of the Content and Community team at SmileTutor, sharing valuable content to their own community and beyond. Annabelle’s passion is connecting parents & children who are looking for English tuition in Singapore.