6 strategies to help you take control of your teacher workload
As dedicated teachers, it's all too easy to neglect our own well-being in the pursuit of excellence. We often find ourselves working excessive hours, sacrificing sleep, exercise, and personal time. But here's the truth: neglecting self-care is a recipe for disaster. Teaching is undeniably high-stress, and it's crucial that we take steps to manage that stress effectively.
The good news is, it doesn't have to be this way. With a few simple strategies, you can reclaim control over your workload, reduce stress, and find balance in your life.
Let's explore some techniques to help you achieve a healthy, fulfilling teaching career.
We all have that one daunting task that hangs over us, making it tempting to tackle easier, less important tasks first. Break this habit by identifying the "Main Thing" each day—the most important task you've been avoiding—and tackle it head-on. By accomplishing your biggest priority first, you'll experience a sense of satisfaction that fuels productivity throughout the day.
Schedule your time
Teaching can easily consume every waking moment if you allow it. Take back control by scheduling specific blocks of work time in your calendar, just as you would schedule appointments. Stick to your schedule as closely as possible. Knowing that you have allocated time for each task will increase your efficiency and raise awareness of how long each task truly takes.
Work smart and avoid multitasking
Rather than juggling various tasks throughout the day, adopt a batching approach. Group similar tasks together and work on them in larger, less-frequent batches. For instance, dedicate a specific time to photocopying all materials for the week or check and respond to emails only twice a day. By focusing on one type of task at a time, you'll save time and increase efficiency.
Perfectionism can be a time-consuming trap. Identify areas where you can relax your standards and aim for "good enough." Free yourself from unnecessary work and redirect that saved time to tasks that genuinely require more attention. Striving for perfection in every aspect of teaching is not only unrealistic but also drains your energy and time.
Maximise your productivity
We often fall into the trap of thinking we're working diligently when, in reality, we're distracted by social media, TV or unnecessary conversations. By becoming aware of these unintentional breaks and minimising them, we can focus on working efficiently. You'll be amazed at how much more free time you'll have by staying focused on the task at hand.
Collaborate and share
Don't reinvent the wheel. You don't have to create everything from scratch. Leverage the power of shared resources and collaboration. Countless fantastic teaching materials and lesson plans are available online, many of them recommended by fellow educators. Explore these resources, adapt them to suit your classroom's needs and save yourself valuable time and effort. Additionally, share your own resources with colleagues, creating a supportive and time-saving community.
Teaching shouldn't come at the expense of your well-being. By implementing these strategies, you can take control of your workload and enjoy a healthier, more balanced teaching career. Remember, prioritising self-care isn't a luxury—it's an essential component of being an effective educator. So, rejuvenate your teaching experience, embrace these techniques and rediscover the joy of teaching while taking care of yourself.
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Check out these editable planners which are available for 5, 6, 7, 8 9 and even 10 lesson days. Pick which is most suitable from either the usual 5 days week or our planners which contain dates including Saturdays.