one of the hardest things you will have to figure out is the work/home balance.
it’s commendable to be a hard worker. i remember that i would work all day and after school until six my first year. i would also regularly bring home work or papers to grade. you wanna know what happened? i was exhausted before thanksgiving break was here. unfortunately, i didn’t understand that this wasn’t normal. i knew that teachers took home work. i just didn’t know that it wasn’t supposed to be a regular thing.
i’ve also watched young (and old) teachers too. most fall into one of two camps: the exhausted overachievers and the overwhelmed faders. the overachievers are trying to be perfect all the time. but here’s the thing… you have to give yourself time to learn and grow. for these new teachers to be successful long-term, you have to accept that you’ll make mistakes and you’ll hopefully learn from them. that’s healthy. the faders fade into the background as the year goes on. they slowly give up. often, they just aren’t meant to be teachers. they didn’t what they were really getting into. unless someone steps into help them or they choose to reach out for help and save themselves, they will fail. their students will be affected in the process.
as years passed, i became more efficient as a teacher, and i built up a library of teaching resources for myself. now, i can write lesson plans and prep for my classes pretty quickly. but if i had to start over with a new class that i hadn’t taught in a few years or ever, then it would be a challenge. the difference now is that i know how long things should take and i don’t waste huge amounts of time.
when it’s time to have fun at work, don’t take it for granted and don’t skip it. but also don’t spend so much time messing around that you don’t get your required duties done. there’s a balance to find at work too.
so why is this important? you have to have a life outside of school. yes, school is important. relationships with students, creating impactful lessons, attending extra-curricular events, and being involved in activities at school are all great things. but if they are biting too much into your personal life, then you have to reevaluate. you NEED the time to decompress and relax. otherwise, you will get burnt out and both your personal and school life will suffer.