One of my friends posted on Facebook 'if ____ was an Olympic event, I would totally have a gold medal'. Some of the responses were the typical: procrastination, talking, wasting time on social media... I commented that I use the above words too many times!
Unpaid overtime is just a fact in this profession. I have had times where I have worked up to 80 hours in a week, and then there have been times where I have worked around 40 hours. I have a nice balance now of around 45 hours per week, which is still more than I get paid to work. Depending on the time of the year we can be expected to put more hours in, particularly around report writing time, parent teacher interviews or the beginning of the school year with classroom setups and finding out where students are academically. Assessment, data collection and analysis and meetings with parents are also added to our workload. I just don't think there is any way around doing a bit of extra work. Someone once told me that our holidays are to relax and we have earned them. Very true! I have had a very busy 6 weeks and only now am I starting to feel like I can take a breath. I was talking to a work colleague this afternoon and we both discussed the To-Do List and how it doesn't seem to shrink.
That is where self preservation comes in. It is important to take some time out for yourself. Some teachers take hours of work home each night or work all weekend. I think it is important to ask yourself if you really need to do this. Sometimes you do, other times there might be an alternative. I no longer take work home with me. This means my time at home is for me and my loved ones, but it also means that I get to work early in the morning and occasionally need to go in over the weekend. There are times I get a little bit frustrated with it all but I don't know what else I would rather do with the rest of my career!