I’ve been thinking about writing this blogpost for the last few weeks but I never got around to it – now with mid-term I’m sitting in bed and contemplating what I want to say and wondering if I’ll even click publish but there’s a couple of things I feel I need to write down and share.
A bit of background
I started Irish Primary Teacher nearly 5 years ago while I was teaching in Brighton. It really was a place for me to store up ideas that I liked and keep track of what I was doing and what worked well with my own class. I never in a million years expected it to grow as much as it has and I am so grateful and delighted to have so many followers and so many monthly views on the website too.
However, with the growing following (which I’m so happy to have), the demands are ever increasing. My inbox is constantly full with requests and questions. Unfortunately, I’m the type of person that finds it incredibly difficult to switch off – so if I get a message at 9/10pm – I usually respond (if I’m still awake) within a few minutes.
I started a weekly question session which I do on Wednesdays on my Instagram – initially I could answer all the questions without any problem. Now I would need to be on my phone for the full day to get back to everyone that sends a question and obviously that’s not possible.
At the moment, my mind is constantly racing with ideas, thoughts, answers to questions, requests etc.
I contemplated taking a career break or job sharing next year so I could have more time for the blog but then the reality of paying a mortgage, bills etc. sunk in. The majority of things that Irish Primary Teacher offers (the website with over 500 blogposts, the instagram and facebook ideas, the weekly question session(Instagram), responding to daily messages on Instagram and Facebook, lots of resources, reviews etc.
I also create a lot of resources (when I can) and I sell these to allow me to pay for site hosting, resources for my classroom and a bit of extra money for myself (minus the tax).
Some days/weeks I can write 4 blogposts, make 3 resources, answer 100 questions and everything would be great. Other weeks (the weeks leading up to midterm), things were hectic and I felt completely overwhelmed with the never ending to do list both in school and then with the blog too.
Sometimes I wonder about shutting everything down and if there is really a point in continuing Irish Primary Teacher and I’ve been really thinking about this over the midterm break and at the moment it’s something I really don’t think I can do. Irish Primary Teacher is a massive hobby for me – I love it.
Changes I need to make
When family, friends and followers keep telling you to take a break then it’s probably time to listen. So here are some of the changes I intend to make to try and combat feeling completely overwhelmed.
- I will continue to answer questions sent to me privately but I will only answer between the hours of 3-7pm and any messages after this will have to wait until the following day.
- I will continue to do a weekly question session but I will only answer the questions in a one hour block on Wednesdays (at the moment)
- I will try to write 1 blogpost per week. My aim will be 3 per month so I will take a week off when things are very busy.
- A number of teachers kindly wrote guest blogposts for me – if you’re interested in writing a guest blogpost please email email@example.com
- I will try to make 1 new resource per week. In general the resources I make are for my own classroom so are geared towards 5th class, however I often try to expand them to suit 3rd – 6th class.
Overall I think the changes will not be noticed by most people but I wanted to share them to make myself accountable.This blogpost is really one for myself – to get a plan in place to make sure that I am looking after my own wellbeing as at present I’m not doing a good job of it! But I’m sharing it because I think I’ve received countless messages wondering how I manage to run the blog and teach full time etc. and I suppose this proves that I’m human and at the moment I’m struggling to juggle it all.