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Work-life balance

Discussion in 'Primary' started by anon261, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. This issue came up in another post and interests me so I just thought i'd ask how everyone ensures they have a good work-life balance? I'd be particularly interested to hear from parent teachers as i'm due to end my maternity soon and need to work full time.
  2. This issue came up in another post and interests me so I just thought i'd ask how everyone ensures they have a good work-life balance? I'd be particularly interested to hear from parent teachers as i'm due to end my maternity soon and need to work full time.
  3. eread1

    eread1 New commenter

    It's very hard and if I'm honest my work life balance isn't great... I collect my 2 year old from the childminder's at 5, take her home - do dinner, bath and she's in bed for 7. Hubby washes up etc (yes, you heard right I'm very lucky!) and I start school work - marking, planning etc etc
    Bed about 10 then up the next day for work.
    Everything has to be done when she's in bed, so I tend to work most evenings. It's not great but the holidays more than make up for it!
    If I had any advice it would be to get into a routine - I ensure I use my childminder's hours to the maximum (no early collections for me!) and have certain nights for certain jobs!

  4. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    As above, set a routine that works for you. Maybe mark books through lunchtimes; decide on certain afternoons for planning and preparation (I find Mondays good for this); depending on whether you're a morning or evening person either get in early or leave late (never both), etc.
    If you have to work weekends, then decide on a set time to do this, such as 3 hours on a Sunday morning and keep to that - if it doesn't get done, tough.
    Become good at prioritising - do what you absolutely need to do and do some of the rest if time left.
    Fit work around your life, rather than the other way around. Don't avoid making social engagements or doing things with loved ones because you feel you've got too much work on.
    I try to keep to the above, and if possible to take virtually no work home with me. Weekends are as work free as possible, but try to get it done on Saturday morning so I can forget about it. Holidays are sacrosanct and are entirely work-free.
    Of course, all of the above goes ****-up from time to time, but it usually works.

    When you're lying on your deathbed in years to come, will you be looking back with pangs of regret on things you didn't achieve at work? I doubt it. I think I'd feel far more regret if I'd not spent enough time doing all of the really important things, though.
  5. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    I've been pretty awesome at this this year. On a 'normal' week when I have no 'extra' stuff to do - just plan and teach, I do all my planning in my PPA time, I mark books as I go in lessons and give individual feedback, then once a week do a proper mark (In writing) then Sundays, I either finish off any planning, or organise some resources. But generally if i have a holiday - it's mine, and I have Saturdays and most of sundays, plus once i get home from work i'll do the minimum. I can't run myself into the ground like I used to on PGCE, it's just not do-able when you're doing it every single day.
  6. This all seems like pretty good advice [​IMG] - what do you do about resources? I remember spending hours on end making resources but I just can't do this any more.
  7. I'm very much in the same position. I'm lucky that I work in a two form entry, so myself and the other class teacher split the planning half and half, I just tweak what she does into my style and for my children etc. A good marking policy helps to save time with marking too - I mark in detail the groups I work with, the other children get a qucik check through - I make sure I mark each groups books in detail once a week. If I've done an extended writing piece, then they all get marked in detail, which is usually my sunday thing. My partner doesn't get home until after 7, so I go home from work, and do anything I need to do for the next day before he comes home, so that we get some time in the evenings. I had no life in my NQT year, and the two years following, due to the situation the school was in. Now things are much more settled and I've been teaching the same year group for a while, its a lot easier.
    However, my NQT mentor gave me some advice which I think helped me at times - which was to have one evening a week where you did no school work, and one day at the weekend where you did no school work.
  8. eread1

    eread1 New commenter

    with regards to making resources, i make as much use of the internet as I can, and the good nature of my TA! I 'make resources' (eg. worksheets etc) as I plan the lesson - so nasty 'eek I forgot to prepare that!' moments.
    It can be done, but you do need to become very organised! How long do you have left?
    I have to say i was very overwhelmed coming back off maternity leave! It will get better though! :)

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