Previously I have blogged about my #edugoals for 2016, one of which is work life satisfaction. I don’t think I have achieved it. I sometimes still feel very overwhelmed being a teacher and also a Head Teacher.
And then I saw this photo posted on Twitter from a book by @teachertoolkit.
One thing I’m learning to accept is that there’s always more to do. It doesn’t matter how much you do as a teacher, there’s always more you can do. I’m learning not to stress too much when the to do list isn’t completed. Don’t get me wrong; I do know how to priortise . But what I have forgotten to do was to have wellbeing in the priority list as well. What I’m doing now is adding wellbeing activities on the to do list. Things like read Harry Potter or watch TV, because these little things are just as important as replying to the never-ending emails and modifying programs.
What do you do to achieve work life satisfaction?
Such an important issue that you have raised. We as teachers can get very caught up in our to do list that we forget to look after ourselves.
A small change I made last year was to stop checking my work email at home unless I have expressly asked students to send something through (I.e. Drafts/questions about assessment tasks). It got to the point where I was answering emails for about an hour a day, give or take, outside of school hours. Not only that, it also became a source of anxiety, as I would worry about things I would need to fit in the following day, or could literally do nothing about from home. This small change has allowed me to sleep more soundly and really feel like I have some control back over how much I let work invade my home life. Now, I wouldn’t do it any other way. It’s been very liberating.
I am always open to new suggestions, too!
Thanks for your comment. Emails and smartphones haven’t been the best things for teacher wellbeing. I think teachers are slowly learning how to set boundaries in that age where you can work non-stop.
Like you, I have placed restrictions on when I work. My phone goes into “do not disturb” mode from dinner time so calls from work goes straight to voicemail and I don’t get notifications if there are work text messages. I now reserve the time after dinner to do things I like.
Thanks for a great post. I’ve thought for quite a while now that there is no such thing as a ‘work life balance’ certainly for a teacher with 4 young kids it is just a mirage. I think there are simply choices: when to focus on work vs family and sometimes family (the more important one) wins and sometimes work (the less important one) wins. Sometimes there are demands from work and family and neither are done to satisfaction and sometimes one or both are done to satisfaction. One thing in your post is so very true; the ‘to do list’ in teaching never ever ends! And the craft of teaching is never perfected.
Thanks for the comment, Brad. Wow! 4 kids! I take my hat off to you. I find it challenging with 1 kid.
I agree that there’s no such think as work life balance, which is why I use the term “work life satisfaction”; the emphasis is on whether you are happy with work and family life, rather than chasing the elusive balance.