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work life balance

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Malinky8, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. How do you manage your worklife balance? Is it possible to be a Mum, class teacher, slt member, maintain a clean house, social life and sleep?
  2. How do you manage your worklife balance? Is it possible to be a Mum, class teacher, slt member, maintain a clean house, social life and sleep?
  3. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    Term-time: being a mum and a teacher take up most of my time. Permanently knackered, and I can only keep on top of the essential housework (cooking, washing up, laundry, a weekly hoovering and not much else).
    School holidays: more time for being a mum, get to catch up on sleep and aim to clean the house and do a bit in the garden (although that doesn't always happen)..
    That's the closest I get to a work/life balance.
  4. Im struggling to do the above, minus the being a mum part.
    I wouldn't ever want to be on SLT whilst working full time and being a mum. I know people who have done it whilst working part time and still being on SLT, and they have struggled.
  5. I am struggling to do all this except the SLT membership bit. I do know a couple of people that do it, but I know one feels the strain (and her children are teenagers) and the other is simply super, super organised (I don't know how clean her house is though!)
    I have two young children and wouldn't consider SLT - I probably wouldn't even if I didn't have the kids to be honest! I also have a husband who stays at home and does all the cooking and cleaning - and I still don't have enough hours!
  6. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Glad to see you've got your priorities right and this is the first item on your list! All of the others come after this.
    Prioritise what's important - planning, teaching, marking, assessment. Anything else is superfulous and so it doesn't really matter if it doesn't get done, despire what SLT say.
    You need to work out what percentage of your salary is made up by your TLR and then see if that percentage matches the percentage of your time spent doing your SLT duties. If it doesn't (which is frequently the case) then you need to consider whether the extra money is worth the extra work. Remember - you are a teacher first, SLT member second.
    Get a cleaner. We've got one recently, since my wife went back to work after the birth of our daughter last May.
    She comes on Friday and blitzes the place in two hours which means we've got a clean house for the weekend, when we'd usually be spending Saturday doing the cleaning ourselves - time we can spend as a family!
    It's a hundred pound a month we'd otherwise have to spend on other things but it's more than worth it.
    Sorry - what is one of these?
    Set yourself a rule - we aim to be in bed with books by 9.30 or 10 at the latest during the week. Time for a quiet talk and a read and normally falling asleep into our books half an hour later.
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    At this very moment I am a classteacher and middle leader. There is just my partner and me at home. Yet we have a weekly cleaner, who also does the ironing. We are also pretty antisocial people, so a social life isn't a huge priority. I generally manage to sleep most of the night on most nights, but not always.
    I cannot imagine being able to do all this...unless I was only a classteacher/slt member for one day a week.
  8. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    I'm a class teacher, SLT member and single Mum. My house is clean during the holidays and deteriorates markedly over the 6 weeks of term time[​IMG] Luckily my children are old enough now to generally fend for themselves but, 8 years ago when I started teaching the youngest was still at primary and the eldest had just started secondary and life was tough! I have little social life, but that might just be me, and I definitely don't sleep well!
    I think my work/life balance is rather tilted[​IMG]
  9. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    Very interesting thread. Thank you for reminding me NOT to go back to full-time teaching just yet (still got primary age children)!
  10. Kelloggs

    Kelloggs New commenter

    But surely you turn up at 9am, leave at 3pm and have all those holidays????? sorry, I was just quoting what most Daily Mail readers believe! Obviously all the lessons plan themselves, mark themselves, assess themselves and the resources also prepare themselves. The reports write themselves too!
  11. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    I'm a mum, SLT, full time class teacher and private tutor and I own a house! The house is the thing that slips most. If I can hoover, keep on top of the washing and washing up then I consider I'm doing well. I have a blitz each holiday. My partner does a bit but the children don't do much. However, they can cook which helps sometimes.
    To help the work-life balance, I recommend:
    1. get a cleaner
    2. Leave school by 5.00pm on evenings when there isn't a meeting etc.
    3. If you have primary age children, have them in school with you. Helps loads.
    It gets easier as they get older except that you stay up worrying on Friday and Saturday nights while they're out partying. (Whatever that is...?)

  12. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter

    I manage the Mum, class teacher, slt member, a tidy but often grubby at edges house, an occasional night out at weekend social life (NEVER in the week and rarely with my husband) and recently just about enough sleep.
  13. nacca

    nacca New commenter

    It is hard and the last week of term goes on forever. I suggest a cleaner (just 2 hours a week keeps me sane); someone to do the ironing; take your laptop to swimming lessons/ karate (I manage to plan from the side!); leave school early a couple of times a week (and stick to it); a big freezer of meals; a slow cooker; mark at lunchtime/ breaktime. Above all, an understanding Childcarer and OH 9 but that's easier said than done!
  14. pooped

    pooped New commenter

    It's certainly not easy, although I don't do the SLT bit. My two are 4 and 5 and my husband is army (currently on tour). I do the mum bit nowhere near as enthusiastically as I should, the class teacher bit OK, my house is surface clean, I have next to no social life and sleep is something I miss greatly!! Fortunately I have an amazing family and friends who help me cling to the last threads of my sanity!!
  15. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    I think your first step is to accept that not every part of your life can possibly be perfect ... but it is possible to juggle everything if you are organised and have some back up.
    Although my kids are grown up now, I worked full time from when they were very young and managed as a single parent too.
    When my kids were young I would work over break and lunch times and leave school at a reasonable time, taking work home with me to do in the evenings when they were in bed. Not much of a social life but I don't think the kids suffered much. When they were older I would tay later and do as much as possible at school so I didn't have to take anything home (not always possible, but I found it worked for me to plan and prepare after school for the next day and leave marking to mornings and lunchtimes - if it didn't get done then ... )
    A cleaner is a 'must have' for me. Once a fortnight is enough these days, though I needed one weekly when the kids were around.
    Also, I do my weekly food shopping online and have it delivered - I hate wasting time at weekends doing chores.
    SLT stuff is possible if your school gives you quality time. I always work for a few hours each weekend and put aside days during holidays, but doesn't every teacher?
    Lists ... lists ... lists!!
    Carrie [​IMG]

  16. I think I cope pretty well with all of those, except the SLT. I made a decision to go back full time when my youngest started in reception and my two both go to my primary school., which I think makes it a bit easier. The things that have made my life easier are: having excellent child care in place for 3 days a week, a cleaner, good friends and lots of reliable babysitters, along with a supportive husband and a great year group partner.
    I teach Y5 and am super-organised! I manage to get away early two days a week - every Friday and most Wednesdays (PPA every other week). That also means my two can bring friends home on a Wednesday if they want - I was very keen for this to still happen when I went full time. I am lucky that my husband sometimes drops them off to school and can occasionally pick up on a Wed or Fri if I need to stay late. I do all my marking at school and try not to do much at home at all - a bit of maths planning, some medium term planning in the holidays but not a lot else.
    I wouldn't want to add to my workload as I find it manageable at the moment and everyone is happy. SLT has never been a goal of mine as it looks like too much hard work! At the moment, we go out at the weekends with the children and have just all had a lovely week away. My husband and I go out at the weekends, and sometimes during the week as well!! I think being organised is the key, as well as learning to say no. I've been teaching for 16 years so I guess I know what I'm doing now and I am also lucky enough to work in a great school where we aren't expected to produce reams of paperwork.
    It is possible though - good luck!
  17. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    That's a long list of stuff to cram in! I'm not a mum or an SLT member but if I did those things in addition to being a class teacher I wouldn't expect to squeeze in a social life as well. I have a good social life but I don't have children and am not SLT - maybe one day but probably not.
    I'd echo what others have said about getting a cleaner - this would free up some time. Maybe have lower expectations of your social life - I don't know.
    The only other thing is to be ruthless with your time management - especially with school work. Keep to do lists and give each job an allotted time - don't let it run over that time. Say no to things if they're not your responsibility.
    Have you ever heard it said that we can have it all but not all at the same time? For example, if you have young children now it may be hard to go out much but it will be easier when they're older.
    My only option for having a family now is adoption and I've heard of adoption agencies insisting that one partner gives up work completely - I certainly don't think I will have any chance of adopting if I want to go for an SLT post. Not looking to make you feel guilty BTW just illustrating how sometimes we can't do everything at once!
  18. thegoose

    thegoose New commenter

    All the above is great advice (especially cleaners, ironers, good childcare, working whilst children attend clubs, diaries and slow cookers!).
    As soon as the children leave the classroom, I get everything ready for the next day: date on board, LO displayed, photocopying and resources out. If my own children are on a 'go slow' in the morning- I know I'm ready to start teaching as soon as I get in. I don't leave on a Friday until I know Monday and Tuesday are sorted and that clears the weekend for a social life!
    I work once my children are in bed (definite routine is helpful). Good luck: it is possible but not always perfect!

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