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Early years /reception work life balance

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by oni44, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. oni44

    oni44 New commenter

    HI, I have just finished my teaching degree and can't wait to get into the classroom. I love teaching but the only thing I often think about is the work life balance.

    I would be very greatful if any one could please tell me roughly how many evenings/time at the weekend you spend doing work, and what this work involves?

    Also how you generally cope with the balance .

  2. Hi,

    I'm going into my 3rd year of teaching. I tend to get in at around 7:40 and leave at around 5. I usually do work on most evenings - around 2-3 hours of resource making, adapting planning, assessing, doing learning journeys etc. Having said that, I don't do much work at the weekend because I do the majority in the week. I prefer to get my continuous provision set up the night before and then I only have to sort out the outside area and my focus activities in the morning.
  3. I love a routine and I try to stick to it as much as possible. I like my weekends to be free from work so I'm strict about getting everything done during the week. I spend a little time after school each day setting up for the following day. I don't like taking work home unless its a bit of cutting and laminating if my nursery nurse has other bits I've given her which I can do in front of the telly. Monday is planning evening for me where I plan for the following week, which can then be amended if needed according to the children's needs and interests. I also share it with my nursery nurse so she can prepare resources and also give her own ideas so she is part of the planning. Tuesday is staff meeting night so I leave after that. Wednesdays and Thursdays I generally do assessment, learning journal work, other bits and bobs, paperwork, and Friday I try to leave as early as I can after setting up for Monday. It's important to plan time with friends and family and make sure you get the right balance. It's so hard and my partner is always telling me to switch off. I'm going to try and switch off during the drive home and keep work and home separate. Hope this helps x
  4. oni44

    oni44 New commenter

    Thank you for all your responses. They have given me a good insight. I feel that work life balance is so important. I will be very happy if I am able to keep weekends at me time.

    Anymore tips or time management advice are welcome
  5. DENISE4444

    DENISE4444 New commenter

    Hi I have been teaching for almost 20 years and still at times get bogged down. I am starting a new job in september so a little nervous, you would think by now I wouldn't but they never go away. I am in reception and have lots of experience, my main thing would be don't plan too much for the children to do and leave time for thier interests, also things always happen and disrupt your day don't stress about his. I once worked with a girl who couldn't cope with any change to her daily teaching routine, i asked her to swap or something and it was a no no!!!!!!!!!! I think be a bit laid back, make sure your planning and data is done and don't leave filing to build up.
    I like to get my things ready for the next week once I have planned and find this cuts down a lot of stress and time - waiting for the photocopier at 8:15 in the morning is not good. I try to put things ready the night before as well as this makes life easier. Good luck and you WIll BE FINE [​IMG]
  6. Hi,
    I have been teaching for seven years, although this will be my second year in Reception. I usually work 7:30 am- 6pm. I don't work evenings but do work on Sunday (although that is usually time spent on subject leader stuff, not class stuff)
    I found that I saved a lot of time in Early Years, once I learned to keep things simple. Rather than planning loads of activities and provisions which took ages to prepare and cluttered up the classroom, I now try to provide a few key activities and resources which are effective and which I actually have time to deliver & model to the children. We can then add to these as we go based on interest. At the start of last year, I was so keen to cover all bases that I really understimated how much time and input it would take to effectively introduce new games, resources and skills to the children. Therfore, I spent hours preparing lots of different things, which then sat unused as the children didn't understand what to do with them.
    I also think that its really important to share your routine and clearly divide up daily chores with other members of staff. If its clear who updates the star chart / who needs to stick in that pile of work in the corner etc you save HOURS each week. If people are unclear on what they need to do, then things seem to have a way of piling up around you!
    Most importantly, enjoy! The great thing about Early Years is that however many pieces of paper there are to fill in, your most important job is to talk to and to play with the children. So when you feel a bit overwhelmed you can take five minutes to sit and play dominoes or share a story in the book corner..... and you are getting paid for it!!
    Coffee xx
  7. oni44

    oni44 New commenter

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    If you Can think of anymore hints or tips please let me know
  8. cinderella1

    cinderella1 New commenter

    If after your ppa you get your support staff to gather all that is needed for the follwing week and file in mon-fri trays then you will be prepared for the following week and not be running around looking for stuff.
    We also set up for the following day at the end of each day, so all is ready for the next morning.
    Some days if needed I may be in the classroom late but on most days we leave about 4.15 and get there anytime from 8-8.30. But as all is already prepared theere is no need to arrive earlier unless I have something to do.
    Good luck i hope you enjoy your first year
  9. oni44

    oni44 New commenter

    LOVe the idea of a Mon-Fri file and preparing the night before.

    When leaving at 4.15 do you then do work at home?

    Thank you
  10. cinderella1

    cinderella1 New commenter

    No apart from planning and at the end of term or half term.. when i will take some assessments home. I do it all at School during the day.. I do come home exhausted but i would rather do it at school then bring it home. I think we work way to many free hours as it is.
    PPa i finsh of my planning and annotate any pictures that have been stuck in learning journeys, or any other assessment waiting to be completed.
    Any marking or annotating of work is done on the day when completed, assessments of activities are also completed on the day and filed the next day during snack time by the nn. I cover lunch every other week and also use this time to do any work that needs doing. Its all about being highly organised during the day .. and having excellent support staff. :)
    There are the odd days when stuff does need to be done that requires staying late and thn i will do so, but only if required. I dont have a spare minute in the day it is constant but all done. I do need to catch up on co-ordinator stuff but to me my class is more important, and this is all done. Good luck. I think if you have your routines and your support staff know what is expected of them then you can do it.. just like in an office. I worked in admin for years and I am sure this has helped.
  11. Similarly to the mon to fri filing I organise my resources for the following day into baskets, labelled 1-4 for my four main teaching sessions each day. This helps me, I need to feel organised and I hate resource box, containers that don't match so they are all the same size. I actually think teaching has given me OCD!

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