Teaching Stress–How do we cope?

I have always loved teaching and I will say that there isn’t a better profession to get into. It has great holidays, you build relationships with students that will last a life time and you learn something different every day. You are able to build character and you also become stronger as a person. That being said, there is a lot of press about teachers being overworked, stressed out and there have been some articles recently that have shone a negative light on teaching.

I’m hopefully going to share some of my own personal experience on teaching. I think that people see that I have won awards and assume that teaching has been ‘easy’ for me. It hasn’t come without it’s hiccups. I have had to learn how to manage my lifestyle around my job. When I manage it well, I get great results and it has minimal impact on my life. I want to give you some tips on managing your work load with relationships.

Relationships

IMG_0606One of the things which came out in an article recently was that relationships become strained and some teachers find it hard to settle down and get a family dude to finding that balance. I can agree with this 100%. Before I got married, I was in a long distance relationship and it was quite easy to manage my workload. I would simple turn off the computer and that would be me for the evening and I would get work done. I would turn on or turn off my relationship.

Unfortunately, after I got married this couldn’t continue. Me and my wife had to learn. Teaching is a life style and you’re either built for it or you’re not. My wife saw my passion for teaching and was more understanding but we realised that we had to work together and work at things in order to get the best out of our job and our relationship.

In terms of dealing with relationships, the only way we worked through this was by communicating. The way I manage my work load with my relationship now is that we have a shared calendar on our phones and also on the wall on display. My wife understands that I need down time and we discuss and if possible, I will arrange chill out time with friends a month in advanced so that my wife knows when I’m going to be home and when we can plan time together.

This calendar is on full view in my house and I know some of my friends think it’s a little strange that I will message them a month in advanced to hang out but it makes things easier for us. You can see from my calendar for April that I also teach Irish Dance classes and have this time on the calendar. My wife now knows that my Monday’s, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are time where I will make sure we have time together. My wife can also see that Friday’s are planned TV nights. If I want to fill up my Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with hanging out with friends, I’ll discuss things with her. If I’m going to spend my evening doing lots of marking, I’ll add it to the calendar.

Like I said, I’m not going to sugar coat it. I love my job but we’ve had to work at our relationship. If you’re going into teaching, make sure you give yourself a calendar and discipline yourself and you will enjoy life. This is what I do and it helps me. I’m giving you this advice because I’m a little sick of seeing people talking about teaching but not actually talking about how to handle things. It is because that I have this time management in place that I’m able to come up with or spend time to get ideas to make lessons more engaging.

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About Raymond David James Chambers

I am the Lead teacher of computing at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby Northamptonshire. Previously I was the head of IT/Computing at Uppingham Community College. In 2015 I won the Gold National Teaching award for Innovative use of technology. I also won the 2015 Young Game Bafta - Mentor award. I'm keen to help students achieve their best and like to give them opportunities to do this. I have a passion for teaching and I enjoy meeting other people and sharing their ideas. I have a keen interest in games development as well as developing the use of ICT in classrooms across the curriculum. In my spare time I teach Irish dancing. I have been Irish dancing since I was 11. My highest position was 14th at the world championships 3 years running and 2nd at the Great Britain Championships in 2006.
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