Managing your workload as a teacher
The workload as a teacher can often feel overwhelming, but amid a global pandemic, with internal examinations, assessments, and student wellbeing at the forefront of your minds, it seems rather insensitive to be suggesting ‘top tips’ to tackle your workload!
You have done an incredible job to get through these unprecedented times. Sometimes it is important to take a step back and get some perspective. So we have some ideas to help ease the pressure as you approach your current term.
With the uncertainty and confusion surrounding examinations and the laborious task of setting teacher-assessed grades over the last couple of years, if there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that a lot of things are out of our control.
That’s why it’s important to focus on what you can control.
Of course, the following suggestions won’t result in your workload magically disappearing, but they might be useful in allowing you to adapt your working routine for final term, and into the next academic year.
Give yourself some slack. The key to managing a workload is accepting you can’t do everything. This is perhaps the hardest task for teachers. Getting through this year - in the midst of a Covid testing and absences - is a huge achievement. It might help to reflect on all you’ve overcome during last few months. What are you proud of? What has worked? Which approaches would you take forward?
Know Your Limits
It can be very difficult to say no. You may be quick to offer help or say ‘yes’ when colleagues ask in fear of letting them down. But then you end up juggling extra tasks each day of the week, and it all gets too much. It’s important to know your limits at work.
Check out Education Support’s free resource on ‘When to say no’
Prioritise those urgent deadlines and perhaps abandon the smaller tasks. With an excessive to-do list, you still have some control over your workload – even if it’s only which tasks to complete first! You could even set aside a couple of minutes at the end of the day to write a list and leave it on your desk ready for the next morning. There’s nothing more satisfying (and empowering!) than ticking off those completed tasks.
Check out Teacher Toolkit’s 5 minute workload plan for teachers
Factor in a day when you leave early
Your wellbeing is thoroughly important. It is okay to leave work early. Giving yourself some quality time during the working week can make all the difference to your productivity. Being able to enjoy your time away from work, in turn, allows you to recharge, refocus, and be ready to tackle those workload challenges.
Each week we send out five positive news stories, resources or tips & tricks for you to support your wellbeing and personal development, as well as the young people you support as teachers. You can sign up to our feel-good Friday Newsletter here.