Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance as a Teacher

1-2 minutes

Most teachers enter the profession because of a desire to enhance a young person’s life. If you’re a teacher who can relate to this then it’s likely you’ve got a heavy workload in order to fulfil your role. 

But, as important as your career choice is in shaping your students future, it’s also vital you take time to prioritise your own wellbeing. 

A 2021 survey published by Twinkl KS1, revealed that almost 60% of teachers said they did not have a good work-life balance. 

This shocking statistic is made worse by the fact that a poor work-life balance can have a negative effect on your physical and mental health. 

Not only can an unmanageable workload lead to sickness, it can also result in anxiety, depression and exhaustion. 

Ensuring you have a healthy work-life balance is also beneficial to your school. The better your work-life balance, the more productive you’ll be in the workplace and the more rewarding your students will find your teaching.  

With this said, here are our top 4 tips for teachers to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Don’t spend your life with teachers

Like any profession, it’s easy for teachers to find common ground with people in the same industry.

There’s nothing wrong with developing strong relationships with your colleagues, if anything this can make your time at work more enjoyable but it’s important not to forget about your friends outside of teaching.

Planning time to spend with friends will give you the perfect distraction from work.

It’s fine to loosely touch on the subject of work with friends but it would be wise to focus on other topics of conversation that don’t revolve around school, students and endless piles of marking.

Why not find a fun or unusual hobby to take part in? Hobbies are a great opportunity for you to join a community of like minded people outside of the workplace. 

Volunteering is a popular hobby for teachers who are naturally compassionate, or maybe running is more your thing? Whatever your interests, we’ve got more great hobbies for teachers to enjoy here.

We advise building your network of friends outside of teaching as much as possible. The more people you have time to spend with outside of work, the more opportunity you’ll have to switch off for a while. 

Saying ‘no’ is ok 

It goes without saying that to be a teacher, you need a caring nature and a willingness to help others.

But knowing when to say ‘no’ is an important part of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

If your employer or colleagues are expecting more than what is listed in your job description, there is nothing wrong with respectfully putting your foot down and highlighting that the task is not within your remit. 

While it’s great to be flexible at work it’s better to be honest with your colleagues than to leave yourself feeling burnt out. 

If you’re anxious that you’ll appear lazy or unhelpful, politely explain that you simply don’t have the time to fulfil their requirement to the highest standard. 

You shouldn’t be prioritising other people’s workload over your own busy schedule. Ask yourself, would they do the same for you? 

Make time for you

As a teacher, you’ll be used to planning lessons and thinking ahead for the benefit of your students. 

However, have you ever considered that planning ahead in your personal life can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance? 

For a well deserved break from your busy workload, factor in plenty of time to spend with your loved ones.

Having activities scheduled for the future is the perfect way to distract your mind from the classroom and have something to look forward to. One advantage of being a teacher is that you always know when you will have free time throughout the year so make the most of it! 

Spending time with loved ones has also been found to significantly reduce depression and other mental illnesses. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask a loved one if they fancy a catch up. Switching your mind off from work can help to reduce your stress levels. Even a quick coffee or a brisk walk in the fresh air can do a world of wonders.

Leave your workload at school

There’s bound to be the odd occasion when taking marking home or planning lessons in your spare time will make your life easier.

However, to maintain a healthy work-life balance, it’s important to leave work at work where you can.

Taking your workload home can make it difficult to unwind if there are visual reminders, such as piles of marking, within sight.

If you have no choice but to take work home, allocate a designated space (ideally a seperate room if you can) in which to work. This will help to keep the boundaries of work and social time seperate if you can physically walk away or close the door on work. 

All teaching staff are entitled to Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time, equating to 10% of their teaching hours so we would recommend using this time to your advantage. 

Respect the fact that your house is your personal space and work should be left in the classroom, both physically and metaphorically! 

Who is Spencer Clarke Group? 

Since 2017, we've been changing the face of recruitment. From our employees, to the way we do business, to the culture within our office, we're determined to make a difference and create a positive impact on everyone around us.

Recruitment to us isn't just about matching candidates and clients; we’re passionate about finding candidates the perfect job which has the ability to boost their salary and standard of living, better their work life balance and improve their mental health. 

Similarly, we understand the impact which an experienced and skilled employee can make to a business and we love seeing clients thrive through the hard work of candidates which we have placed with them. 

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If you’re searching for a new role, why not visit our job page to take a look at the latest opportunities? Alternatively, upload your CV and one of our experienced consultants will contact you when a relevant opportunity becomes available. 

If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help? One of our consultants will be happy to listen to the challenges which you are facing and advise on the best possible solution for you.

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