Last night's #edchatma which focused on expectations included some discussion about education balance. How do you balance your education interest and efforts with other areas of your life?
It's true that one becomes very boring when they only talk about or work on one subject--the adage that "variety is the spice of life" holds true. With that in mind, it's essential that we balance our education think/effort with life outside of school.
Finances plays a role here. I notice that educators with more money sometimes balance better as they have the extra dollars to travel or enjoy other pleasures. On the other hand, educators with less money, often have to work extra jobs to make ends meet, therefore, they have less time for school focus. There are also some who have the resources to focus on school, but may not have the resources to do much else so they focus on school efforts and think.
Yet to do well by our students means we have to vary our interests and seek good balance. We are far more interesting in the classroom if we have interests outside of the daily work. Those interests will change over time too as your life and commitments change.
But, at times, there's an urgency to right the education path, to organize the many issues at play to better what we can do. This betterment takes extra energy, time, and commitment, as change doesn't usually happen without extra effort and time.
So what do I think educators should do in this regard?
First do the job well that you're hired to do.
Next make time to continually develop your professional work and skill.
After that take care of your basic needs. Make time for health and recreation.
Further, support your life outside of work. Once you leave your job, you'll be left with the life you've built outside of school and you'll want that to be a good, rich life.
The work/life balance will look different for all of us, but the constant is that it's imperative that we do create a balance of some kind to support our lives well.