Work-Life Balance as a Music TeacherNov 03, 2020
School is back in session! Whether you are going in-person, online, or hybrid, this season is undoubtedly busy, with a never-ending list of lessons to plan, meetings to attend, and emails to send or calls to make. It is difficult to find a balance between teaching and home life at the beginning of the school year, but the following tips should help!
Set your work hours and stick to them!
I have found over the last few years that setting “work hours” for myself helps me avoid bringing work home with me in the evenings and on weekends. I like to go to school early, about an hour before my contract time, or stay an hour after my contract time, to get things done. Going in early, in my experience, also means the copiers are usually available for me to use without having to wait for another staff member to finish up!
If there is a time when I absolutely have to take work home with me, I block off a set amount of time in my evening to get this work done. Once the block of time is finished for the night, I stop working. This allows me to have some boundaries at home so that I can spend time with family without constantly thinking or talking about work.
Along with setting clear limits at home with completing teaching work, turning off electronic devices (computer, television, smartphone, etc.) at a set time is another technique you can use.
There are a few ways you can go about this. First, take your school email off of your phone. Only accessing school emails via a computer has allowed me to not become stressed out by evening emails. Also, turn off or silence notifications after a set time in the evening. For this, I typically set my phone to “Do Not Disturb” around 7PM, and “Airplane Mode” at bedtime.
Don’t be afraid to say no!
You can’t do everything. Trying to do it all will not make you a hero, but it could cause you to burn out quickly. Do not be afraid to decline any extra responsibilities if your plate is already full!
If you are asked to do something and you know you have a lot on your plate at the moment, decline politely. Explain to the person asking that you already have a lot going on, and cannot commit to any other opportunities right now. If you feel comfortable doing so, perhaps offer to help at another time, when you aren’t as busy.
Take care of your physical and mental health!
When you’re incredibly busy, it can make you feel overwhelmed. While it is important to take care of your work at school as a teacher, it is just as important to make sure you are healthy, both physically, and mentally.
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