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Top head offers work/life balance advice for teachers

06/09/2017 Joanna

As the summer holiday season draws to a close, teachers all over the UK will be preparing for their return to work.

For many, a key objective for the next few months will be to make a smooth transition back into their working routine. This is likely to involve careful management of workloads, and trying to ensure that work doesn't become the sole focus at the expense of a personal life.

Anyone with experience working in the education sector will know how difficult this can be to achieve.

In an article for Tes, a respected headteacher offered some personal advice on how teachers can maintain a positive work/life balance.

Colin Harris, who has more than two decades' experience leading a school in a deprived area of Portsmouth and recently received two 'outstanding' Ofsted reports across all categories, stressed that one of the most important things is to make time for yourself. He said this should be a consideration now, not once the school term is already in full swing.

"It is important to recognise that your wellbeing really is your responsibility, and no manager can help you much," Mr Harris advised. "Therefore, recognise what is important and what is filler and realise that the extensive 'to do' list you have created will never be completed. Most importantly, create time for 'you'."

Another strategy that could prove useful for busy teachers is making a strict decision not to work every evening or every weekend, and allowing yourself one day a week when you go home early.

Mr Harris underlined the importance of making other aspects of life - such as family, friends and hobbies - just as big a priority as work.

Finally, he recommended focusing on doing the simple things well, rather than overcomplicating what is already a difficult job with excessive planning or unnecessary meetings
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