One thing that I have noticed about teaching is that the hours that I work fluctuate throughout the year. During the first 5 or 6 weeks of the first term I usually work really long hours, setting up routines and creating resources for my students. I often find myself needing to go in on a Saturday just to get through my to-do list. There are some things that I just can’t prepare for during the holidays and I have often had to change my strategies once I see the dynamics in the classroom.
Then there are times when reports are due, extra admin tasks or events that might create more hours of work. I have a very supportive family who understand at times that I am required to be at work more than usual. We all know that it doesn’t last forever and I give my partner a reminder that I have a lot on. This often means that home tasks can be neglected! So for us, sometimes it means a quick and easy dinner, or the ironing piles up for a bit but it will get done eventually.
There are also times during the year when there are less hours of work required, particularly towards the end of a school term where students are finishing off tasks and we are not starting anything new. This is where I find an appreciation of the extra time for me to do more exercise, more household chores or simply more time to chill with my family.
We all know that teaching is not a 9-5, Monday to Friday so I have learned over the years to just go with the flow. Prioritising tasks is critical for me to maintain balance and I will write about this next week.