Is finding the ideal work-life balance a myth? The truth is, every individual has a variety of responsibilities in their work and personal lives—and there is no perfect way to organize one’s time and schedule.
Achieving a good work-life balance is of the essence for teachers. Fortunately, striking a delicate balance between work and personal life is possible by trying out different strategies and setting up guidelines to follow. Here are a few top tips for maintaining a work-life balance as a teacher to build a happier and healthier career.
Prioritize Personal Health and Wellness
Regardless of school-related responsibilities, your personal health and wellness should be a number one priority. Educators can’t help students when they are ill or worn out themselves. For this reason, strive to eat healthily, get enough rest, and stay active throughout the week. Putting yourself first sometimes is the best choice—you’ll be a better teacher for it.
Show up in outfits that showcase school spirit to join in the fun with students and colleagues during the workweek, but spend fulfilling time with people outside of the educational field as well. Make enough time for family, friends, and yourself to ease stress levels and keep your mind off 24/7 work-focused thoughts. Put care and attention into your physical and mental well-being to avoid the risk of burnout.
Give Yourself a Recess When Needed
Today’s educators are hard workers. Many teaching duties cannot be accomplished without putting in extra hours every single day. That being said, teachers need to be able to respect their time on weeknights and weekends—and even on their busiest workdays.
Take a quick recess when needed to rejuvenate and strengthen your mind, body, and soul. Even a short 10–15 minute break can provide a fresh perspective and help you gain renewed energy for the work ahead. Go for a walk, grab some coffee or a snack, check in with a loved one, or read a chapter of a book to reduce stress levels when lesson planning, grading, or working on another task.
Know When To Firmly Say No
Another top approach for maintaining work-life balance as a teacher is learning to say no. Tell the truth firmly and politely, and remain resolute if your hands are already full. Knowing when to slow down and how to adequately prioritize work is essential. Recognize the fact you cannot attend countless school events or after-school activities, serve on every committee, or work on extra projects for every occasion.
Focus on what you can do—within your limits—to have the greatest influence on student success. Remember, a teacher’s work and personal life obligations don’t have to be effortlessly balanced, only strategically juggled. For personal and professional growth, let go of non-essential expectations to get a better grip on non-negotiable responsibilities.