Maintaining Work-Life Balance While Building A Successful Teaching Career
Over the past three years studying Mathematics, I got to experience, struggle, and learn a bit about work-life balance. Keeping a part-time job, societies, a potential social life and having to take care of myself can all get overwhelming at times.
This September, following a relaxing summer, I was looking forward to getting started in a career I’ve been passionate about since I was fifteen. I can confidently say that almost two months in, it’s great. Having the balance of theory in seminars and then seeing theory put into practice in a placement school has been one of the best learning experiences so far.
I also got the privilege of being awarded a Maths Scholarship where the support from professional bodies such as the IMA and Integral and the Scholarship is limitless. As a Scholar, I’ve found the right tools to help me build my own teaching style.
The easiest thing you can do in teaching is get overwhelmed with the workload. As a student and teacher trainee, I haven’t been short of opportunities to do so. I was able to use my experience from my degree to organise myself, so I avoid cognitive overload in my life (teaching term there for you!).
Believe it or not there is a “simple” answer to this: organisation and motivation. If you’re able to build an organised life and have the motivation to follow the plans you make, you’re already on your way to a great work-life balance.
To give you a bit of an insight on what I do, I’ve had a calendar with all my timetables and events since first year of university. After playing around with settings and personalisation, I found a layout that works for me. From the little calendar designs to sync for ease of access on all your devices. I have a to-do list that gives me my tasks daily. I think about how much time I want to dedicate to chores each week.
I keep an eye on all my deadlines and complete as much as I can in advance to avoid rushing last-minute work. I carefully prepare each lesson plan in advance. While this may all sound impressive, it didn’t happen overnight. This is years’ worth of trying and seeing what works. People have inspired me with their own ideas, and I’ve made my own discoveries. But I’m not done either. I still have about 5 different storage locations for my files that I need to have a serious look over!
You can begin to see how these plans although may sound great on paper do require a fair amount of motivation to follow through.
The reason it’s not as simple as it sounds is because it all needs to be tailored to you. I can however recommend you try some organisation plans of action yourself bearing in mind that it’s a process and you’ll never be fully done with it. Don’t forget to implement those much-needed breaks too! Mix it all in slowly and you’ll find yourself on the path to an excellent start to a successful teaching career.
By Stephanie Petrescu
Message from the Scholarship Team
You can apply to the Scholarships with a 2:2 degree classification, providing you can demonstrate 'significant relevant experience'. Also you can apply before completing your subject knowledge enhancement course. See our eligibility criteria on our About Us page and our FAQs.
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