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New relationship and new teaching job! Tips for a good balance

Discussion in 'Personal' started by ellie_rose, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. ellie_rose

    ellie_rose New commenter

    Hi everyone. Just looking for some advice really. As sometimes happens in life, loads of exciting things have happened at once. This month, I got both my first teaching job and a new boyfriend. Having been single for a while, it's really nice to be with someone new and I'm really excited about it. I can see a future in it and I'm at the stage where I want to be with him all the time.
    This is the problem - my job starts next week and I am an NQT who will be in Year 6. I know how demanding it's going to be...on my PGCE placements, I worked non-stop from 7am-11pm some days. I want to make the best of this opportunity after being unemployed for so long and really do the best for the kids by being a fantastic teacher. I know the time this takes up (I often worked weekends on the PGCE too) and I'm worried it will take a toll on my new relationship.
    I really like my new boyfriend but I can also be a workaholic and I don't want things to break down so early because we never see each other while I'm planning/marking/doing all the things teachers have to do. How does everyone manage to keep a good work/life balance, particularly if you are in a relationship? Any tips would be great as it's all looking a bit daunting at the moment.
     
  2. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I think it depends on being with someone who understands and puts up with it. Many teachers can't manage without working long hours but there are the holidays when you get evenings and weekends back at least. I think you need to be clear at the outset what your job is going to take out of you and that it is part of the deal. Don't try to pretend it's not a huge part of your life - that just won't work. But then when you are together switch off from it and talk about other things (do as I say not as I did!!!). Teachers aren't the only people who work hard and long hours - if he doesn't accept you as a teacher, it's not going to work long term. Hope he's got what it takes for you.
     
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    We don't. We have to rely on out partners being extremely understanding...

    ..or teachers too.
     
  4. O you have the life of my dreams! Currently boyless and soon to be jobless i can only wish your luck rubs off on me! You will have to tell him. People outside teachign don't understand how important it is to teachers to do (to be seen to do? O sorry!!) a good job and how judgemental everyone else is about it. Are you thinking you won't have time to go out with him or are you worried about how much tme in you will spend ignoring him at home while you work? Why don't you just show him this thread?
     
  5. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Date night Fridays. When I was in my NQT these kept our relationship going. 1 week you organise a date, next week he does. You can always spare a Friday eveningand it gives you something to look forward to x
     
  6. must admit...date night actually works for us too!
     
  7. Plan things for every week end and the holidays, and as others have advised let him know that during the week you'll be pretty much up to the ears with work.
    Again, as mentioned it's not only teachers who put in such long hours, and many couples manage a healthy realtionship. (And they're not teachers so don't have the holidays).
    Run, as fast as I can....... [​IMG]
     
  8. Try (and it is difficult in KS2) to keep Saturday free !
     
  9. dumpty

    dumpty Lead commenter

    You could do what all teachers have to, sooner or later. Look at the effort you are putting in, the hours and the paperwork...and ask if it really is making any difference. Or, more correctly, see if halving the time you spend on the above makes any difference to the result. It won't, apart from you feeling so much better and fresher....which your new bf will appreciate. Secondly, if he is not a teacher, then don't drone about the kids (using their names is a bigger wind up than not) or how hard you work. It will bore him to tears and make him feel all he is for you is rant box and that, your biggest fear, you are more concerned about the job than him. I used to spend 3 hours on a Sunday doing the plans. I then watched as OFSTED came, asked for the box our plans were in....and just opened the lid, saw the box was full and said 'good, well done'. So then I told myself my plans would be done in less than an hour every Friday at lunchtime. No-one cared or noticed and I still got the same 'good, well done' assessment of my paperwork. You can do this, too!
     
  10. I'm a firm believer in boring people making boring teachers so you can't dedicate yourslf wholly to the job.
    I would say ensure that you book one evening a week (not at the weekend) with the new boyfriend and have time to chat to him on the phone of an evening too. It doesn't have to be a marathon session but a chat for half an hour is a break fo you too. Try to keep as much of the weekend free but I know Sunday afternoon and evening often become unpaid PPA time for a huge number of teachers (myself often included).

    Plan nice things to do at the weekend: get tickets for events; arrange to see friends so that you have to switch off from the job and make sure that Friday evening and Saturday is NOT school time. Being an NQT should mean you aheva reduced timetable too so make sure you use your non-teaching time REALLY constructively. See if you can do team planning and making of resources so the onus isn't always on you to make things from scratch.

    I wouldn't say work every lunch time as you need to be sociable and meet people in the school but maybe work through two lunch breaks a week to stay on top of marking.

    Ultimately it's about being organised and prioritising and I would say time away from work, spent with people who are important to you is essential.

    Good Luck and I hope both work and relationship work out well for you.
     
  11. ellie_rose

    ellie_rose New commenter

    Thanks for all your fantastic advice so far. I'm glad other people understand how hectic it can be as I find it difficult explaining this to some of my friends who aren't in teaching. I have had a chat with my new boyfriend about how I expect my job to take up a lot of time (particularly during the week) and he's been brilliant about it. He's really understanding and told me he actually expected that. He also said it doesn't matter, as lots of people who aren't in teaching work long hours and don't really see each other during the weekdays, yet they still have a good relationship. I'm going to see how it goes and try to keep Saturdays and holidays free as our time :)
     
  12. Brilliant ellie_rose, hope it all works out for you both. [​IMG]
     
  13. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    teach him how to mark
     

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