Work, Life Balance

Hi there,

It’s been too long. I think I’ve spent the last month or so working all the hours of the clock and not having too much free time. Every spare moment was spent thinking about school, IEP’s, planning and resources. After 6 weeks, I think I am beginning to settle into my new role as a resource teacher.

For anyone who is an NQT, doing their probation/Dip year, work life balance is key to staying healthy and sane! Having spent the last year in England, I had forgotten what balance really meant  so it has taken a while to get back into the swing of teaching here in Ireland.

Once we moved back to Ireland, I insisted on finding a place to live first and then getting a job. Found a great place to live, found a fantastic school to work in, only problem is the M50! It takes me roughly 50 mins to get to work each morning, which means leaving the house at 7.15am. This gives me about 40 mins prep time every morning in school. I find this time vital as I can get set up for the day, have a cup of tea and a quick chat and photocopy or make any last minute resources. Initially I was also staying back for over an hour after school and then coming home and spending another 2-3 hours on work but I realised that I was just wasting time rather than doing anything productive.

My new plan for a work life balance is;
Arrive at school at 8:10/8:15 – do planning, photocopy resources etc.
Tidy during the day – make sure everything has a place and goes back there when it is not in use. In my resource room, each child has 2 folders (one with copies and another for worksheets/artwork etc.) These are kept on a book shelf with the child’s name on a label. The children collect and return their work for each session. They also tidy up any resources we have used.
Stay 30/40 mins after school to do any further planning, meet with teachers/SNA’s, photocopy/plan.
Be home by 4/4.15pm. Relax for a while, have dinner, gym etc.
7-8.30pm Any necessary work that I didn’t get done. I hope to only have to do this once or twice a week (fingers crossed!)
8.30pm – 10.00pm Relax

So that’s my plan; now all I have to do is stick to it!
Niamh x

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