Conserve Your Energy And Promote Wellness Within Teaching
Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers and any experienced practitioner can describe those ‘golden moments’ where their sheer hard work, persistence and drive has helped learners realise their potential and achieve their goals. All of this endeavour and energy expended can come at a cost to teachers who dedicate many hours of their week focused on a range of roles and responsibilities. It is essential all teachers prepare themselves and embrace an attitude where resilience positivity can overcome a daunting work load.
There is no expectation to answer emails out of school hours
When the day is done, it is imperative to use your time to relax. It is important to uphold your work-life balance and remain happy and refreshed. Resist the temptation to look at your phone for work emails-it can be resolved the next day! Home life is just as important as work life, see friends, family and partners and focus on topics away from teaching.
Honour your hobbies
A teacher or trainer should never sacrifice their hobbies regardless of what stage of their career they are in. Whether you are a trainee or a senior manager, you must take a break and participate in what you enjoy. By honouring your hobbies you will take a break from teaching, however surrendering your passions and interests will only make you resentful towards your career path and employer.
Write a job list
It can be easy to become overwhelmed by paper work, daily responsibilities and planning within teaching which can ultimately cause teachers to take time off to cope. Create a job list in order of priorities, you will be able to think clearer about the week ahead and establish what needs to be completed. Ask fellow colleagues and senior staff what methods they use to organise their workload.
Adopt a ‘growth’ mind set for teaching
It is easy for teachers or trainers to ‘stagnate’ within their careers and possibly become ‘martyr’s’ of teaching by criticising others and deflecting the blame from themselves for their lack of change.
If time does allow, why not set personal development targets such as taking up CPD opportunities or delivering training on an INSET day. If you are an experienced teacher, why not create and share your resources e.g TES jobs, even mentoring a new member of staff can be fulfilling. By setting these small targets will refresh your targets and desire for teaching.
Establish good sleep habits
A key to any successful teaching day is to get a good night’s sleep. By establishing a good sleep pattern of 7 hours or more will help to maintain your focus, productivity and ultimately enjoy your lessons. Resist the temptation of drinking tea and coffee during break times or in the afternoon- go for green or pepper mint tea instead.
Walk during lunch break
Getting out of the classroom during your lunch break can do wonders to your wellness and self-esteem. A walk will not only increase your enthusiasm but it help you feel more relaxed and improve your focus for the afternoon lessons. Even something as little as walking to reception or the staffroom can help productivity for the rest of the day.
Resource making is integral as a teacher but ultimately takes time and effort away from the daily duties of planning and marking. There is nothing wrong with being ‘territorial’ about your own resources, these are personal to you and you may not wish for others to use (you may even wish to sell resources that you create on TES) https://www.tes.com/teaching-resources Why not ask your fellow colleagues to share resources? By sharing a demonstrates a ‘team worker approach’ and more often than not a colleague will return the favour in the future.
Protect your voice
Educators use their voice all day long, it is an essential resource for any teacher. In fact, teaching is one of the highest vocal demands of any profession. Your voice is the most powerful teaching tool and should be protected. Rely on your body language to do the talking- a simple ‘stare’ can help to stop any poor behaviour by a learner however a shout can be detrimental to your voice. By giving your learners plenty of opportunities to use their own voices through varied activities paired work, peer assessment and group work can help for you to adopt a ‘facilitator approach’ and gives yourself a well-deserved break.
Any education-based qualification can prepare you for the pedagogical principles and practice of teaching but nothing can prepare you for the social, emotional and cognitive demands of teaching itself. Through mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and positive self-talk can all focus the mind better on the task on hand of teaching and how to reduce conflict and promote more positive thinking within your classroom.
Speak to others
Openness is everything’ in education and failure to ‘speak up’ about your concerns over work load will only make it harder in the longer term. If you feel your administration duties are becoming unbearable, speak to your line manager, senior leadership team, personnel or even seek advice from a teaching Union.