Teaching, as I’m sure you understand, is a big undertaking. It is easy to let work overflow into your life outside the classroom with grading, lesson planning, and even event planning. It is important to maintain a good work/life balance. It may not seem easy, but bringing home as little work with you as possible will be good for your relationships and can even help prevent burnout. Here are a few tips to get the best work/life balance you can!’
Use Prep Time Effectively
Teacher get prep time for a reason! Use this time to grade, lesson plan, or finish any work from the previous day that you didn’t get to. It is easy to get behind if you are not making the best of the time you are given. Limit yourself to only work during working hours. Prioritize your time and do your best and most efficient work within that time period. If you don’t get to everything, it can wait until tomorrow. Be strict with yourself and avoid taking work home with you as much as you can.
Provide Word Limits
Give students strict word limits on writing assignments. By giving students a word cap, you prevent yourself from getting lengthy assignments that can get long winded. Word counts make students think differently about their writing and convey their ideas clearly and succinctly. Plus, it’s less work for you. It’s a win-win! You feel like you can manage the amount of work you need to grade and students learn to enhance their writing.
Make Time for Friends/Family
Make plans with friends and family – and stick to them! Giving yourself things to do outside of the classroom will give you even more motivation to not bring your work home with you. If you have a girls night planned, you will be motivated to get everything done so you can enjoy the company with friends without the thought of work on your mind.
Taking care of yourself physically and mentally play into how you perform overall. If you are not getting enough sleep you will start to feel the effects on your work. Being in good shape and eating well also play into motivation and efficiency. In addition, you want to focus on your mental health as well. Staying sharp and clear-headed will allow you to prioritize and handle all work before you leave for the day.
Even though you are shaping the minds of our youth, you still need to make time for yourself. It is easy to get lost within your passion, but you don’t need to let it overtake your whole life. Give it your all within working hours and then be sure to have fun and decompress outside of those hours.