A balancing act
I like to think I’ve maintained a pretty decent work-life balance in recent years. Planning and marking, by and large, stays at school and only bigger jobs like making assessments and working on schemes of work tend to come home during the holidays. This isn’t a strict rule, but most of the time I manage to stick to this. This is something I pride myself on and the key, I feel, to avoiding burn-out.
Recently however, it has dawned upon me that not only is teaching my job, it has also become my hobby. I realised this when I found myself bothered about reorganising #MFLChat so that I could join a local choir and my partner saying to me “how dare you think about doing something in your own time that’s not related to education?!”
In my own time I engage with edu-twitter, read books, write blogs, sit on committees for teaching-related organisations (Association of Language Learning local branch & Chartered College of Teaching council), organise online chats, work towards qualifications like CTeach, attend conferences and these days it seems, present at them too. I’m even talking to a group of other CTeach piloters about starting a podcast. So, have I really got the balance that I thought I did? Maybe not.
The question is, do I see all this as work? Most of the time not. Yes, there are times when I’m getting up early on a Saturday for a conference or a meeting when I wonder why I’m doing it, but by the end of the day it’s all been worth it once again. Of course it all links into my work, each one of those things contributing to my teaching in one way or another.
I guess it all comes down to the way you view it. Some people would hate it, in fact I know other teachers who think I’m more than a little bit nuts. But for every one of those teachers, there is another that I’ve met through Twitter or the Chartered Teacher pilot that is just like me. Generally speaking, I still feel like I have that work-life balance that I mentioned at the start, but maybe a slightly unconventional one.