Teaching vs. Family: A Balancing Act

I’ve just completed my 8th week of teaching after returning from maternity leave.  It’s has been a very interesting experience, made more interesting by my return to the classroom from two years as an Instructional Facilitator.  I’ve been retooling my lesson plans, setting up my classroom, working to build community with my students, and trying to keep up with grading.  I’ve also been trying to balance work and family more effectively.  As many of your know, this can be a challenge.

I have been trying to come up with strategies that will allow me to be a good teacher without sacrificing my ability to be a good parent.  It is important to spend time with my daughter, and I realize that in the past my teaching style has required a lot of time spent planning outside of the school day.  There is also that seemingly endless stack of paperwork and administrative tasks that can eat up a lot of time.  I’ve been trying to figure out ways to use my planning block more efficiently while I am at school, but it hasn’t been enough.  This is where you come in.

I’m looking for ideas.  I’ve asked a few colleagues about how they balance work and family, and the response I’ve gotten from all of them is that they are also struggling and don’t have it figured out.  I’m not searching for answers that unlock the secrets of the universe (though I’d take those too!), but rather strategies and advice for things that help you be more efficient with work and allow you to spend quality time with family.  I would love to hear from you about small or complex strategies you have used to adapt to the role of a teaching parent.  I am also interested in time saving strategies in general, so please don’t feel like you have to be a parent to offer advice.

I love my job.  I love being a teacher and lesson planning is something I really enjoy.  It goes without saying that I love my daughter.  She deserves as much of my time as I can give her (and my wonderful husband!).  Please feel free to comment with ideas or even questions you have as a teaching parent or as a teacher trying to use your time more efficiently and effectively.  I would love to hear from all of you.

Come and play with me!