Q. I’m a newly-qualified teacher and despite having an excellent mentor in my school and a lot of support all round I feel absolutely exhausted. I’m fine at school and love the job, but I’m spending every evening preparing for the next day. I actually dreamt about phonics consonant blending last night.
A. This is without a shadow of a doubt the biggest challenge of the job. As an NQT it’s tempting and an admirable trait, for you to want to get everything perfect straight off. But be warned: this is the route to stress induced burn-out. Recent research has indicated that some teachers are regularly putting in 70 hour weeks in order to stay on top of the job. You owe it to the children you teach and to yourself not to go down that road. There is no magic cure for this one, but there are lots of small changes that you can make to help you regain your work-life balance. It may sound like yet another piece of admin, but keeping a work diary is a must. Make a note of all your important deadlines, like parents’ evening, end of term reports, school productions and then make a weekly plan, so that you don’t have to pack in all the effort at the last moment. Try to keep fit, eat healthily and get plenty of sleep, a real basic this one, but it’s easy to become run down and then everything becomes more difficult. Schedule time for rest and relaxation at weekends – if you know you have a heavy week, keep social events to a minimum. And lastly, be kind to yourself! You don’t have to spend every evening creating resource sheets and cutting-out. Teaching Trends has a huge variety of well-priced, good-value items that will save you a great deal of time and trouble. Teaching Trends wishes you every success in your teaching career.