5 ways to improve teacher well-being

Mental health day is on the 10th of October and it’s an issue of high importance, getting plenty of media attention recently. Teachers are overworked, stressed, and have unrealistic targets from leadership and from themselves. Us teachers want to do our best but can burn out by the time Christmas arrives. The battle to reduce workloads and balance work with other high priority commitments continue and it's easier said than done. I've compiled a list of things teachers should try and stick with for a happier, less stressful existence.

ways to improve work life balance and teacher well being in school

1. Teacher work-life balance 

This was my new year's resolution for 2018 and I think I have kept to it pretty well. I keep exercise books and marking at school, I spend a few hours Sunday mornings planning for the following week. I made time to see family and friends around the country with plenty of weekends away from home and away from my laptop. If you struggle with the balance, maybe pick up a new hobby or restart an old one. You could just have a designated day or afternoon a week to get into your PJs and watch Netflix. Me time is just as important as work and family time so even a 30-minute slot dedicated to yourself will make a difference!

2. Organise and Prioritise

This is something that either comes naturally to you or doesn't. Either way, you should try and be organised when it comes to work and play. Create to-do lists with achievable deadlines. It's so satisfying ticking off completed tasks and seeing the list get smaller (before creating a new massive list). Use your PPA time effectively and prioritise certain deadlines to reduce that anxiety or stress of failure in the long run.

3. Collaboration in and out of school

Work with other teachers- share and support each other - in school, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Use online resources such as TES because half of the time, someone has already prepared a good enough resource for you to download and adapt for free!

4. Have a good support network 

A problem shared is a problem halved! You deserve a good support network in school and out. If your management team do not support you and appreciate your hard work, maybe a change will make a big difference to your well-being. I personally don’t like spending my evenings talking about school but sometimes you need to vent or ask for advice from someone outside of the situation.

5. Socialise

Keep in contact with friends, old colleagues, and distant relatives. You are never alone, especially thanks to social media and the internet! During the term, we can become fully consumed by our jobs and live in a teaching bubble. Call a non-teacher friend or family member and see how they are. Talk about things other than school- realise that you can have a life that isn’t always revolving around school.

I hope these tips help combat any stress you're struggling with. Remember there are always people to talk to and people who can relate to what you're coping with! Reach out to other teachers and your family for support and feel free to email me (using the contact form) for a chat.

What advice and experiences do you have regarding teacher well-being? Please comment below.

Check out my TES shop for great lesson plans, ActivInspire flip charts, and worksheets.

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