Updated: Aug 1, 2021
We are the first to say that life in the classroom can be hectic. This is even more true in the current climate where some of us are in the classroom, others engaging in distance learning and others constantly feeling like they are on standby for homeschooling kicking in again.
There have been so many times that we have felt overwhelmed and overworked with way too many things on the 'to do' list. As a result, we couldn’t be the best, most present teacher we hoped to be.
We became teachers to make a difference in the lives of young people, right? That is a mammoth task, but when you are crumbling under pressure yourself, it can seem impossible.
So, what can you do when you feel you're drowning in work? We can’t control others, their behaviours, expectations or decisions. But what we can control is what we do ourselves to try and make it better.
Here is a list of 10 quick strategies that work for us when the pressure of teacher life is becoming a little much:
1. Set Achievable Daily Goals
Choose 2-3 achievable goals each day only (aka don’t overcommit, you only have 24 hours in a day).
2. Time for You
Dedicate one afternoon after school per week to leave early and do something for yourself. Make it a weekly routine.
3. Goodbye notifications
Delete school emails and notifications from your mobile phone (be strategic and only check your emails a few times a day).
4. Work smarter not harder
Try to work smarter or ‘cut corners’ where you can. Remember there is no such thing as ‘perfect’.
5. Fuel your Body
Get rest, drink plenty of water and pack healthy snacks for school (best not to survive purely on sugary treats in the staffroom).
6. Tackle the To Do list
Divide your ’To Do’ list into categories to help you prioritise (such as “non-negotiables”, “for later” etc).
Want to know the secret to having a to do list that works for you, instead of making you feel overwhelmed? Check out our free workshop: Manage your Teacher To Do Lists.
7. Have an Attitude of Gratitude
Start a gratitude journal where you record 3 things you are grateful for each day.
Teacher tip: you can even work this into your classroom routine where you and your students all spend 5 mins each morning or afternoon writing in your gratitude journals
8. Routine the Dream
Set up a daily routine that you really enjoy e.g. Start a ‘coffee pool’ where you and a small group of colleagues do the coffee run for each other each day, keep your favourite teabags in your desk for a hot cuppa after school or treat yourself to a special lunch to look forward to on Fridays.
9. Cut Down on Marking
Minimise marking when you can. Give verbal feedback instead of written feedback and invest in stamps to help save time. Read more about marking tips and hacks here.
10. Quit the Overcommit
Don’t overcommit yourself (inside the classroom or out). It is easy to join all the committees and try all the newest fads but doing everything will start to spread you a little thin.
The feeling of ‘stressed’ has become so normal in our world today. But for us, as teachers, we have an obligation to model to our students that stress shouldn’t be a normal part of each and every minute. Not only are these strategies going to help you but it will make an impact on your students too!
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Hang on... have you signed up to our FREE workshop 'Manage your to do lists'? Click here to get instant access to our mini masterclass video, workbook and real life strategies to get on top of that to do list right away!