It’s been hard to get the balance between work and home life right in lockdown. And as this has eased, many teachers have continued to do most of their teaching online from home right up to the end of the Summer term. Being a teacher means I seem programmed to work really hard for a few weeks at a time – often putting in 60+ hours a week – and then refuelling during the holidays. In the topsy-turvy world of COVID 19, I’ve had to change the way I teach entirely. It’s nigh on impossible to keep a healthy balance when your home is also your classroom and there’s SO MUCH to do. Even now that term has ended I am still finding it difficult to switch off, knowing that there is a lot of planning to do for the ‘new normal’ back in school in September – whatever that will look like. The same seems to be true for some of my students.
If we’re all to return to school refreshed and ready to move forward rather than exhaused and burnt out, maintaining a healthy balance is vital. One of the better outcomes of enforced home-working is that I have been able to spend time every day in the garden growing flowers and a few veg and go for walks. Usually it’s confined to a snatched hour at the weekend or the school holidays. I am also far more efficient about my marking and should be able to give myself at least two evenings a week away from schoolwork.
It’s only taken me thirty years of teaching to achieve that. I love teaching and it is all-consuming but it is also a job. I was in danger of forgetting that.