In 2022, 72% of teachers said that workload was one of the main driving factors behind their decision to leave the profession. 66% said that they experienced behavioural, psychological or physical symptoms of poor-work life balance.
We have seen a huge increase in the number of teachers asking questions about workload and a school’s wellbeing policy. In response, lots of schools include this information in their school videos and adverts, showing just how much of a topical issue it is.
We spoke with a selection of primary teachers, secondary teachers and various SLT on what they recommend to maintain a healthy work-life balance and workload. Their top three tips are:
Finishing on time
Finishing at a regular time and leaving your job at work was a regular theme. Teachers and leaders recommended separating work from home by ensuring you leave school a little later rather than taking tasks home with you. Some teachers and leaders also commented that they have a day every week where they will always leave right after school, ensuring they never sacrifice this time. For example, every Wednesday, they leave at 4 pm and have a sports club or social they go to.
Meditation & Exercise
Many teachers said they regularly meditated. Many use an app and meditate first thing in the morning or during a lunch break in a quiet place.
We also found that a huge amount of teachers regularly exercised, even if it was just a walk or going for a short run.
Utilising shared resources and engaging with your team was another of the key points raised during our conversations. Making sure that you have access to all the tools at your disposal helped reduce workload by recreating work that had already been completed, as well as utilising PPA time properly in school.
What other tips would you give to a teacher struggling with the workload and balance? We understand that sometimes it’s more about finding the right school with better policies and work-life balance.