Teaching is a very challenging career. In order to make it successful and long-lived, it’s imperative you have coping strategies in place.
There's always work to be done in the Education sector. Teachers need to be counsellors, nurses, motivators and leaders. That kind of emotional labour and behavioural management can be hard to switch off, but can ultimately lead to burn-out. Being aware of that and taking time to put your well-being first is crucial. You can do that by putting a few coping strategies in place.
1. Find a place in the middle
Very successful people in the corporate business world have three places in their life. They have home, they have work and they have a place in the middle.
That place in the middle is all about them. It could be going to the gym. It could be going for a run. It could be sitting on the bus or the ferry on the way home. We know that people who have that third place and commit to visiting it every single day are very successful.
2. Be mindful
You know that being a teacher or educator isn’t all holidays and six-hour days – it can be a 24/7 job and the struggle for work-life balance is real. Mindfulness is a major way of dealing with stress for many teachers, and we also believe it’s a practice that is going to become increasingly important for all people, including children, to learn in such a busy, technology-driven world.
We now recommend that all educators and teachers do a course on mindfulness – there are also a lot of books out there that can help.
3. Share mindfulness strategies
If teachers and educators understand mindfulness, they’ll be in a good position to teach the children the same tactics – remember they too live in a world where information is thrown at them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What’s more, these days there’s little to no break from technology for these future generations. So by understanding and practising mindfulness themselves, teachers can pass these strategies on to the children – this will undoubtedly help them throughout adulthood as well.
4. Seek strength in others
When things do get a bit stressful, stop, take a deep breath and live in the moment. If things become overwhelming or fall outside of your expertise, lean on your colleagues, ask for their help and use their strength to get through.
5. Prioritise the non-negotiables
The final strategy to help teachers cope is time management; prioritising the things that are non-negotiable versus the things that are negotiable. Use a to-do list and make a commitment to stick to the order it’s written in every day – you’ll get to the things that aren’t crucial when you have time.
By identifying the non-negotiables, you give yourself permission to leave the negotiable tasks, which in itself is very liberating and leaves you more time to get on with the important things – like educating children!
At Randstad, we find the tempo between your needs and the right job opportunity, whether it be work-life balance, career progression or ongoing training. Click here to explore exciting opportunities in Education.
By Matt Hodges, National Director, Randstad Education
With over 15 years of experience in the recruitment industry for Education, I manage a large, dedicated team of consultants across Australia and New Zealand. My work philosophy is about maintaining the human touch in recruitment, and to utilise technology as the stepping stone for delivering a distinctly human experience.