Separating school and my life

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Shiloh17, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Shiloh17

    Shiloh17 Companion

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    Mar 12, 2014

    Hi,

    I am a first year teacher. I find that all I think about are lessons, planning, precutting, laminating etc. Separating my personal life from school is becoming very challenging. I just want to do excel at my work and prove myself. I need advice on ways to deal with this issue. Have any of you ever had trouble separating school and your personal life? All I do is plan and I drive myself crazy :(

    Thanks,

    Shiloh
     
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  3. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Mar 12, 2014

    During my first few years, I was working all day at work and then working all night at home. This pattern only left me tired, frustrated, burnt-out and resentful.

    Now, I've come to the point where I refuse to do any work at home on the weekdays unless its an absolute must (something I HAVE to do for tomorrow). I do my school work at work (during my plan) and I spend my time at home recovering from the work day. I do spend all day Sunday planning also, though.

    There is no such thing as being the perfect teacher. You can drive yourself crazy and burn yourself out trying to become this person.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 12, 2014

    I spent years and years living school. My husband knew he wouldn't see me from August to June.

    I have learned to balance life and school. I go in early so I don't have to bring work home.

    Of course, this is my last year, so I'm not under as much stress this year :)
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Mar 12, 2014

    Years ago I stopped bringing things home except on weekends, and then I wouldn't work on anything until Sunday afternoon. Now I don't even do that. I will sometimes go to school on Sunday afternoons to work, but nothing comes home.

    Everything still gets done. I could work every minute of every day and not get everything I want finished, but I get everything done that HAS to be done to get the job done . . . and that makes me a much happier person.
     
  6. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Mar 12, 2014

    Ditto. I just refuse to take work home during the school year. I find ways to get it done at school.
     
  7. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    Mar 12, 2014

    I have no social life and I live out in the middle of no where so I always bring my work home so I have something to do. I usually also come up with my greatest ideas while I am grading papers at home.
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Mar 12, 2014

    It takes time and effort to keep separation. It's so tempting to take all that stuff home! Try finding a hobby that takes up part of your evenings, if only one or two nights a week. Worst case scenario, when you know you need to force yourself to stop working on school, sit back and have a drink. I make it a rule to never work on school stuff once I've had a nightcap, even if that nightcap is right when I finish my school day.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The first year or two can be all consuming, but you must make time for yourself....you won't last otherwise in your career, personal relationships or health....even if you just take 20 minutes a day to walk, have a cup of tea, read a book, meditate...do it! You need a little you time...:love:
     
  10. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Mar 12, 2014

    I am a second year teacher, so this is something I am still figuring out myself, but for me the key is to LET myself have a break. Since I am literally never caught up on everything and there is ALWAYS something else I could be doing, I used to feel very guilty when I took time for myself on the weeknights or *gasp* a whole weekend! (lol). I am trying to strike a balance lately by being more forgiving of myself and allowing myself to have that free time. Set aside purposeful relaxation time, and relax! I try not to ever touch work on Saturdays or weeknights (unless I can't help it...like tonight.) Your mind really needs that break!
     
  11. asha

    asha Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2014

    I tell myself rested mama is a better mama, so I do not work after work. I go workout three times a week and I read books at night. I make the point, that unless I am sick I do not skip my workout and I read at least a page before going to bed.
    I make a point of taking care of my body (eating healthy, workout, and resting). I also find that I have a better week when my weekends are calm and relaxing.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Mar 13, 2014

    I'm a second year teacher (actually 1 year LTS and this is my real first year). I make sure at least my weekends are meaningful.
    During the week can vary. Some weeks I leave 10-20 minutes after school is out and do some work on the weekends (typically Sunday, and I refuse to do anything on Friday or Saturday).
    Other weeks, such as this one kinda drag - I've been staying after school for over an hour, and I'm just exhausted because of the time change. I know it's only this week though.
    I also have been working super hard with PD after school and I'm clearing my credential in 1 year, instead of 2. So it seems like it's been just work for 3 weeks.

    However I always make sure that I do something on the weekends (the more the better) and even during the week I want to spend time with friend just 1 night, or grab a drink, etc. Sometimes I don't do anything, just stay home, relax, sleep and don't do anything work related.

    I realized that working at school and working at home are about the same thing, but I think I do spend less time working if I stay after school, because I'm trying to get out of there, and at home it's more relaxing.

    I';m just taking it week by week, but based on what I hear I spend far less time working as other new teachers.

    Don't grade everything. Some things can be graded for completion, not for accuracy. Tests, especially if they're multiple choice can be graded in class (student switch papers) I often get a student to volunteer to grade them for me. It saves so much time. Planning takes much more time for me than grading, but I don't mind, I want to make sure my lessons are great. Try to see where you could cut out 5-10 minutes, and it can really add up.

    You can repeat a lot of your lessons, and it's also good for your students. What I mean is that I use a lot of the same strategies. I always create Powerpoints. So they always have a warm up, vocab. development is always the same way, so I just type over the info, etc. So it's not so much thinking. If it works, I keep using it.
     
  13. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Mar 13, 2014

    Can't fully give you an answer yet, as in my three-month full-time teaching for a maternity leave position, I left before 5pm (we're technically "off" at 3:30) about twice, and was usually there until 6 or later with some work coming home and on the weekends. I think the piece of advice (that was mentioned in this thread) that might be best to start with is to just do your initial planning, but don't stress out about making it better and better and better. I'm now half-time for a few weeks, and yet I've been slaving away thinking about how to shape this math unit (even the first day) for all that extra time I'd supposedly be off.

    And make sure to think about that "does it need to be done right now?" question. I got lots of grading done yesterday afternoon during my schedule time, but am not worrying about that at home right now (I didn't get through the science post-assessments) because it's not vital to what we're doing and thus I'll work it into a better nook & cranny ;)
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 15, 2014

    You could work all day and all night and never finish. Knowing that, I suggest giving yourself a cut-off every day. I leave school at about 4:30 every day and I don´t do anything else school related until the next day (I might come on here, or look up ideas on Pinterest but that´s pretty much it). Once you have determined your cut-off, stick to it. You will be less stressed and happier for it. It´s for your own sanity and longevity in this career. I honestly believe that´s why there is so much teacher burnout in the first few years of teaching. We have to pace ourselves. Slow and steady wins the race.
     
  15. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Mar 16, 2014

    I stopped taking work home unless it's absolutely necessary. This week I had meetings after school every day plus two on my planning, so I have to work this morning.

    Like Tami said - you could work all day and all night and still not have everything done. At some point, you figure out how to let go and accept that there's only so much you can do.
     
  16. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Mar 16, 2014

    This is my 5th year and I've finally found a healthy balance. I do bring work home but it all gets put away at 8:30 in the evening. So if I don't get started on school until 8:00, then I only work for 1/2 an hour.
     
  17. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Mar 16, 2014

    My friends and I have 'BFF work weekend' twice a year.
    We have 4-9 of us at one time.
    Everyone meets up at somewhere and works all weekend.
    I usually do teacher work but others have worked on scrapbooks, recipe books, crocheting Christmas stockings, jewelry, business website, etc. Some have just read, slept lots, or played Candy Crush. This April I plan to work on "I can" statements for my classroom.

    Our favorite place is a cheap, remote cottage. We will take walk breaks and campfires. Each brings a meal, snack, and a few wine. Most stay 3-4 nights but I only 2.

    Just an idea.
     
  18. Nate

    Nate Companion

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    Mar 17, 2014

    It gets easier as you get a few years behind you, but here are two tips to get you there faster:

    1) Always "work ahead". If it takes you an hour to set up a project, but you can spend an extra 20 minutes to set up templates and patterns to make it easier to do the same project next year, put in the extra time this year. Eventually it accumulates and you'll have more activities than you have time.

    2) Learn to recognize the point of diminishing returns. If you've got the cutest darn craft in the world, but it doesn't really hit the content you need to cover, don't stay up late working on it. My first year I built a fully interactive pop-up barnyard bulletin board, and I think my students would have gained more from a teacher who had spent those 5 hours catching up on sleep.
     
  19. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Mar 17, 2014

    This is great advice. Be very purposeful in your lesson planning so that you are planning meaningful learning experiences.
     

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