Teaching is like no other profession. While some jobs might require you to give a presentation once a month, teachers present every day. While some jobs might give you a week or so to prepare your presentations, teachers only have the time that is left after school — which isn’t much after attempting to make a dent in the forever-increasing pile of papers that need to be graded.
How are teachers supposed to have any time for themselves? Everyone says the key to teaching is “finding the balance”, but how? When? “Finding the balance” won’t come easy, but I have a few tips and tricks to aid you in your attempt to reach teacher homeostasis.
1. Don’t be afraid to say no.
If you want to sustain your enthusiasm for teaching, don’t be afraid to say no. Try to avoid diving head first into five other roles that could potentially stress you out and take energy away from teaching. Although taking on the soccer team and chess club is certainly admirable, try to remember that it is okay to say no.
2. Turn it off.
Set a time every day to turn it off. Let’s say you finish class at 3:30pm — make a rule for yourself that you will always leave school by 5:00pm. Try your hardest to avoid bringing your work home. Leave school, turn it off, and do something for yourself!
3. Sign up for yoga classes
…or any sort of class/activity that interests and relaxes you. I also recommend paying ahead of time! You are more likely to actually show up if you do this. Believe it or not, pursuing your interests other than teaching is likely to improve your teaching.
Sleep is far from overrated. You need sleep to stay energized, and we all know how much energy you need as a teacher. The purpose of sleep is to rejuvenate you! So grab a good book, get in bed, and start logging those ZZz’s.
“Finding the balance” isn’t something that will just happen, you have to make it happen. So go find it. 🙂