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Work / life balance... How do you do it?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by mad.scientist, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Ladies and gents of the TES...

    I know I am pants at the work / life balance it is work, work, work and oh... more work...

    Any advice on how to improve this picture?

    Maddy x [​IMG]
  2. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    well if you stand on one leg balancing you will do less work.problem solved!
  3. be more efficient
  4. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    get some one else to do the work cheaper.you ge t thhe cash and they do the graft!
  5. Olds, she is being serious and not asking for herself.
    I am sure, you, as an experienced teacher must have some pearls of wisdom to share?

  6. Only take home what you are going to do. Peer marking/assessment. Do the marking walk - correct as you walk around, then you only take home a fraction of the books. Don't set h/w for the sake of it - learning h/w is always good. Plan carefully, and do it around deadlines - if you have a set of reports to do, or a parents eve, don;t do loads of the kind of work that requires intensive marking.
  7. Can I make some general comments and you see if they fit in with teaching?
  8. Of course CQ - I value ALL input!

    Maddy x [​IMG]
  9. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Make sure you protect your entitlement to a lunch break: teachers fought hard for this right.

    In any case, it's a health and safety issue, and health and safety is legally your responsibility as well as that of your employer.
  10. OK -
    • have a cut-off time every day where you just stop working. Even if there are things still to do. You only have one head and two hands.
    • use lists - my preferred method is not technical. I take a sheet of A4 paper. I write my "things to do" on individual post-its. I stick these in order of A, B, C (important, a bit important, not desparate) on to the sheet of paper. I can then juggle with the post-its as circumstances interfere. Something that was A might suddenly become C. So I move the post-its around.
    • Only handle each piece of paper once, if you can. File it when dealt with <u>immediately,</u> with a pencil mark on the paper "done". There is nothing worse than spending hours filing a month or even a week's load of dealt with stuff
    • If you cannot file, as still pending, have a folder, in which you place it, each different thing in a separate plastic folder
    • Never reinvent the wheel. If a colleague has done something you can use, use it. If you have something a colleague can use, share it
    • Delegate. Do not do stuff you are not responsible for (even as a trainee)
    • Use Outlook to keep up-to-date on what you need to do when (set the reminder function)
    • Learn how to use Excel - it can be a real time-saver if you know how to use formula
    • Make time for your hobbies. If you do not have a hobby, find one
    • Make time for socialising. Have at least the weekend evenings off for socialising. It will perk you up and stop you feeling like a hermit with a huge pending file
    • Smile. When you feel like crying. Smile. It is an immediate perk-you-up. Like eating chocolate
  11. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    I absolutely agree with Olds - simply be more efficient. So many teachers flap and faff around
  12. Forgot one -
    • reserve one slot a week to deal with personal stuff. Bills, post, letters, emails, tax, or whatever. Do it even if you don't feel like it. It frees up your brain and will not nag at the back of your mind whilst you are working
  13. Twas the uglybelle troll who said be more efficient.
  14. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    quite right, my apologies
  15. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    Remember that teaching is just a job. It is not your life, nor does it define you.
    It took me 25 years to learn that.
  16. I Love this thread.As someone who has had no work/life balance so far in her career and who pretty much had a breakdown a few months ago I have made a promise to myself that this year will be different.
    I intend to leave work each day at 4.30 except meeting day. No matter what and I wont be bringing books home. I have spent the last week getting my files organised, my planning done as much as is feasible, my timetable sorted and all the fiddly things like spreadsheets etc sorted. I have printed off a terms worth of marking stickers, ordered my stamps and certificates. I am hoping this preparation will free me up in the months to come.
    I have to agree with the person who said set a cut off pt and that it is just a job!!! I used to be all about the teaching and could never do enough...but you know what...I got sick, I couldnt go in for months and life went on...the kids got a supply, the school stayed opened- the world did not end! I still love my job and the kids but I know that the work I will do when I work (smarter not harder) will be enough.

  17. zannar

    zannar New commenter

    Love this idea -thanks. I am always changing my lists as needs and circumstances differ, this simple, but effective, idea is one I shall use. Thanks again.[​IMG]
  18. i have a whiteboard in the kitchen and different maker colours - can't avoid it - but also handy for delegating - mr and little posts can have a look and see what they would like (i use that word *very* loosely) to do
  19. erp77

    erp77 New commenter

    Do as much work as you can at school before you come home.
    Be organised, keep lists, know when all your deadlines are and plan for them.
    Have at least one 'night off' during the week.

  20. ahhhhhhhh, I hadn't even started on family management!
    I have a magnetic white board. And each of my kids has a few magnets (with an identifier - son has a cross and scull bones, daughter a flower - they chose).
    Their chores are indicated by the magnet (I have them in a table/column thing) - and I swap them around so that they are not always doomed to taking the rubbish out.


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