Balance in Teaching: Is it really a thing?

I think through my experience so far teaching, the hardest thing to establish as a new teacher is balance. The demands of lesson planning and keeping up with marking, while doing the extra deaeb2afd77cae907ed21e9262ed75f9c3mands of teaching like late night staff events, extra curricular basketball practices and seating plan arrangements is a lot to combat while still hoping to maintain an portion of a social life.

Now, I can’t say I have master
ed the system, as I am not sure masters to this problem exist (or I am yet to come across any or these gifted beings); however, here is a compilation of advice I have been given, trial and error experiences, and a guide to how I am floating by now…. so listen up;)

  1. Set yourself some clear boundaries. 

    I am the WORST for going over the boundaries I set for myself and I tend to have a problem saying no when asked to do things, but it is one of the pieces of advice that is working. In my first week of teaching, my principal said “If you don’t set yourself some kind of boundaries this job is going to take over” and I promise you that fact is truer then true.

    Some ways you can set some easy boundaries for yourself: 
    -Set a time you will absolutely leave school. A crazy concept I know, but even on the days that the marking piles are never ending you have to force yourself to leave. If you follow this rule, you will save yourself from the ‘B’ word… BURNOUT! 

    -Find an extracurricular organization to be apart of that has nothing to do with your school. For me, this is dance practice 2 times a week. For others it could be a fitness class, sports team, art class… etc. But set aside this organized time for yourself to be able to take a brain break. 

    -Don’t agree to do too many things… also something that isn’t working out so hot for me. Although getting involved is good. Maybe limit it to 2 or 3 things throughout the year that are small but effective. Trust me, once every component of school starts taking over, you will encounter the ‘B’ word.

  2. Find your people…mine rock.
    The people and support system you have in your life are going to be life changing to the success you have in the first few years of your teaching. Having family to come home to and talk about your day to, or great friends to go for pizza with a few times a month make all the worlds difference. Find your allies quick and make sure you have them on your side.

    Word of caution… they are going to need you there as a person too. Don’t geek out into teacher brain and become that lame friend that only talks about work. Remember they are supporting you because they love YOU!

    Also, finding great people on your staff is lifesaving as well. As you already know, my staff rocks beyond words, but even having one person that is new with you, or also teaches the same subjects could be awesome for those days you need a life saver.

  3. Know when to take breaks.
    For me, this break time includes everything from going to coffee shops for Pinterest sessions and my favorite cup of tea to traveling every chance I get to where ever I can. Regardless, I am {still} learning to be able to monitor myself when it is time for that mental time with myself.

    We recently had a November week break and I decided to go to Nevada to enjoy the Vegas lights and the Grand Canyon sightings. People told me I was nuts for leaving at a time when quite down time was so essential. I agree, having a week to mark and catch up on life would have definitely benefited, but the wanderlust bones in my body knew it was time for one of those breaks. Although I am playing catch up now, and a few long-er days at school are needed for that story marking… it was worth it and I would recommend this mental breaks when you need them.

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Balance… is it a myth? Is it attainable? I am still figuring it out… if you have any tips and tricks let me know about them!

Cheers,

Miss Rylance 

 

 

 

 

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