Many people think that the last term leading up to the blissful year-end summer holidays is smooth sailing for teachers and that they are on break way before the end of the year. If only that was the case. The last term is in fact, the most stressful time for teachers as they are buried in admin, marking and scrambling to get the last of their CTPD points together for the holiest of files.
Holidays and that well-deserved break can definitely not be enjoyed without your sanity in tact and sharing is caring. We have put together some tips to ensure that you as a teacher manage those stress levels and get out on the other side of exam papers alive.
Become a clock watcher – be a productivity whiz by mastering the art of the all-important to-do list. Figure out what needs to be done for the next day and, beside each item, write down what time you will finish it. Don’t waste time and wonder too much!
Work up a sweat – the more you exercise, the more capable you will be of handling and riding that emotional rollercoaster. Working out is a distinct mood booster and helps with self-esteem. Go for gold in that aerobics class or even just that brisk walk around the neighbourhood.
Sleep! – get a full eight hours of sleep. Smartphones these days have amazing features that allow you to set reminders to yourself to get those jamies on and jump under the covers.
Don’t take work home – get your prepping, marking and planning time done during the day. There is no point in getting home and adding on another three to four hours to your day. You will burn out and the exhaustion will drive you cray-cray long before you hit the beach.
Find your zen – take 10 minutes a day and meditate. If you don’t like the word meditate, then take 10 minutes to sit quietly and consciously clear your mind. Relax every part of your body and breathe deeply.
Your classroom is your sanctuary – close the door during your marking and prep time. So many times, a colleague stops by to chat – whether it’s after a paper or during the course of the day and before you know it, half an hour goes by and you got nothing done, which will only add to those unwanted stress levels.
Be kind to yourself – having unrealistic expectations of yourself will elevate stress levels no matter how structured you are in getting through all the admin. If you feel like a failure each time you don’t put in 110%, you will burn out quickly. Treat yourself as you would a friend.
Keeping these helpful tips in mind should at least help alleviate stress and get you excited for those lazy summer days ahead of you. If an undue amount of stress is burdening you, you should also consider communicating with colleagues for additional ideas and support. It’s important to talk to those around you in the same profession, because we’ve all been through it at least a few times in our careers. We are rooting for you dear teacher, you’ve got this!