The news that bankers who retrain as teachers are exhausted by the hours is not surprising. I’ve been off work these last couple of days those that know me know that is virtually unheard of. I have some nasty virus thing but mostly I think I’m just really, really burnt out and my body is definitely letting me know. 60 hour weeks, plus tuition, clubs and weekly meetings adds up. That’s before you factor in any marking or preparation for the next day. In California they’ve set up a “Survive and Thrive Mini-Sabbatical Intervention Program” for teachers which sounds quite lovely. However I am nowhere near California and I’ve got a Christmas play to produce in 15 days. So instead I’ve decided on some rules to keep me healthy as we approach Christmas. Any bankers thinking of entering the teaching profession – consider this advice:
- Cut back/don’t take on too much. If you really can’t cut back on anything change this to: “don’t take on any more additional responsibilities. ” Asking for help is good too. You’re, hopefully surrounded by talented, supportive colleagues – use them.
- Get to bed by 10. Well actually 9. Asleep by 10. Sounds laughably early but it really isn’t when you have to leave the house at 6:30am. Which takes me on to my next point…
- Whenever possible, leave for work at 7am. Not 6:30am. This means my alarm doesn’t need to go off at a time that starts with 5 (which is surely the dream.) Obviously this can’t start tomorrow because I have to get in and catch up on what I’ve missed.
- Try, even if it kills you, to do some gentle exercise swimming or walking. (Sadly, watching your class swimming doesn’t count.)
- Give some of your evening over to doing something you love be it reading, writing etc… but limit screen time. I love my blog but coming home each evening and staring at a screen is neither healthy nor conducive to a good night’s sleep.
- Keep socialising for the weekend. Now I’ll be honest, my school night socialising is limited almost exclusively to dinner with friends at conveniently located Pizza Express. It’s not wild but for now I’m going to have to try and keep it to a minimum. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend isolating yourself for any long stretch of time but just work out what is manageable.
- It’s OK though because you can spend LOADS of times with your new best friends: tea and coffee.
- Focus on why you are in teaching. Focus on the children that rely on you every day and really enjoy your time with them. This is what it is all about.