How to find balance as a teacher.

  • by

Being a teacher very often involves working 7 days a week. You might have classes only 4 or 5 times a week but your teacher brain definitely works more than that. Our to-do lists are never-ending, there are always tests to mark, things to cut out, lessons to prepare and homework to check. Of course, we all know it’s not good for us to be working all the time, but do we really take care of ourselves as we should? Today we want to ask you to look after yourself a little bit more with these 6 tips.

Fresh air

Whenever you can, walk to and back from work. If you live too far away from your work, just take an extra 15 minutes before and after your workday to go for a short stroll, just around your school. This is such a simple way of introducing a bit of exercise if you don’t have time to join the gym or take up running!

Set time limits

Being a teacher means you have to do a lot of work outside your classes, like planning lessons, for example. And we all know how it works: sometimes planning one lesson can take one day! Just because we want to make it perfect. Did you know that planning lessons will always take you exactly as long as you allow for it? So next time you’re preparing for your classes, set a time limit. And make sure not to go over it! The same goes for all the other activities on your teaching to-do list (they’re never-ending, aren’t they?). Set time during the week to cross off some of those things on the list: cut out some materials, grade tests, laminate, etc. And then, all the other days, just forget about it.

Rest your brain

Teachers’ brains are always on alert for new ideas. You probably caught yourself many times thinking: that would be a great idea for a grammar activity! And it’s usually at a time when you’re supposed to be relaxing. It’s because you constantly think about work, and everything around you is an inspiration! But you can’t operate on work mode all the time. Set a time during the day (every day) and at least one full day every week, when you just turn off your brain and forget about work. And if any work-related thoughts come in, just let them go past! Try doing some mind-numbing activities every once in a while, as well! They’re like a spa treatment for your brain!

Combine activities

Is there something work-related you have to do at home that you really don’t like? Marking tests, checking homework? Combine it with something you really like, like having a glass of wine or eating a piece of your favourite cake. That way you can look forward to having that wine and feeling just a little bit less terrible about having to mark these tests. If you go for wine, however, make sure not to overdo it, of course! You do want to mark these tests correctly! 😀

Be kind to yourself

If you’ve had a bad day, give yourself time off. Were you supposed to cook dinner after work? Did you plan to sort out your clothes for the charity event? But after having been shouted at for 5 hours by a bunch of teenagers, you really can’t make yourself do it? Take a break. Don’t feel guilty about cancelling. Curl up on the sofa and just relax.

Social media

Don’t let social media make you feel bad. A lot of teachers share their ideas for lessons or photos from their classes. And it is a great thing and can be really inspiring. But don’t let yourself be too driven by it. Don’t try to constantly catch up and feel bad about your own lessons not being as good! Remember that social media is only a very small percentage of what really goes on in their classrooms. After a bad day, the last thing you should do to relax is to go on Facebook or Instagram. Go and have that glass of wine instead, and put your favourite show on Netflix. Unless you have small kids, then a little huggle will work wonders 🙂

Buy Twofold Magazine Issue #6 – Teacher’s Day