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How to Reduce Teacher Stress & Create Work/Life Balance

Looking for a solution to constant teacher stress? You CAN be an amazing teacher without sacrificing your family or personal life. Use this podcast series to start improving your work/life balance!

Have you ever felt that the workload & stress of teaching are taking over your entire life?

Truly, God has called us to teach, but He's given us other important priorities, too.

With so much on our plates, how are we supposed to balance everything? How can we be amazing teachers without sacrificing our family or personal lives?

Join us as we first dive into Scripture and see what God has to say about work, rest, and balance. Then, we'll seek to apply these truths to our own lives in practical ways so we can reduce teacher stress and create a healthy work/life balance.

How to Reduce Teacher Stress & Create Work/Life Balance

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THIS SERIES:

#1: The Gospel Gives Us Rest & Balance

Teachers everywhere will tell you that their careers have overtaken their lives. Has teaching consumed yours?

If it has, you are not alone. But, I know you are also deeply in need of rest.

When God first gave us work and rest, BOTH of these were beautiful gifts
(Genesis 2).

But, when sin entered the world, our balance of work and rest was thrown off, with many people overworking, and others underperforming and prone to laziness. It's quite challenging to create the optimal balance, especially when you add in the other responsibilities of life.

Thankfully, Jesus has given us a beautiful model to follow as he sanctifies us here on earth until the glory of God is restored. Let's take a look at the life of Jesus and see what teachers can learn about work and rest from the life of Christ.

1. Jesus did not wait until all the work was done to rest.


Jesus exemplified limits and boundaries. He often left large crowds to get away. Yes, there were more people to heal and more needs to be met, but Jesus knew he needed to rest to do His work well. (One example is in Mark 4:36.)

2. Jesus also showed us that the best self-care is spiritual care.

Pratia Jordan pointed out that when Jesus got alone, He was not sneaking away to take a bubble bath, or to get a pedicure for his dusty toes. He was prayerfully connecting with God (Luke 5:16).

WOW. I guess that means the best self-care is prayer, Bible reading, worship, speaking biblical truths over someone, and other things that root us in Christian truth. (That doesn't mean that a bubble bath or a pedicure isn't helpful every now and then though!)

Looking for a solution to constant teacher stress? You CAN be an amazing teacher without sacrificing your family or personal life. Use this podcast series to start improving your work/life balance!

If you want to embrace a life with more rest and balance, gain deeper insights and learn to apply more biblical wisdom to your own life, listen to the first episode of our podcast series How to Reduce Teacher Stress & Create Work/Life Balance.

How to Reduce Teacher Stress & Create Work/Life Balance
CHECK OUT THE FULL SERIES:

#2: When Doing Less Is Best

Many of us have tried to do it all.

Or at least much, much more than we ever should have tried to do.

And we have failed over and over.

Because doing everything is impossible. We know this but we keep trying.

Each time we do this we are ignoring important realities that we can not afford to dismiss.

Here are 4 important realities we are ignoring by over-doing it:

1. We are finite

We have limited time. Our energy and mental focus run out more quickly than we want. We are not God and we do not have endless energy. Just sit with that truth for a few minutes. God knows your limits & does not expect you to do everything either.

2. Opportunity Cost

One yes equals at least one no. Every single time. Often we pretend we can keep saying yes without consequences.

3. Loss of Choice

Doing everything does not work. Plain and simple. If we are trying to juggle too much, eventually we will drop some balls - but we do not get to choose which balls drop. They just fall. And the ability to choose and prioritize no longer belongs to us.

4. We Need Rest

God created us with the need for rest. When we are consistently over-scheduling ourselves, we are ignoring our need for rest. Long story short: skipping rest is a bad idea.

Once we embrace the reality that we cannot do everything, it frees us to start choosing the RIGHT/BEST things to spend our time on.

Looking for a solution to constant teacher stress? You CAN be an amazing teacher without sacrificing your family or personal life. Use this podcast series to start improving your work/life balance!

Listen to the second episode of the How to Reduce Teacher Stress & Create Work/Life Balance Series to discover ways to clear the obstacles and start prioritizing the right things in our lives!

Don't miss this EXCLUSIVE training.

Discover HOW to be an amazing teacher in a reasonable amount of time in this free training!

How to Reduce Teacher Stress & Create Work/Life Balance

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THIS SERIES:

#3: The Two Keys to Time Management

How full is your to-do list right now?

Even though we know we can’t do everything, there’s still a LOT to do. Like, seriously… a lot! How can we possibly get this all done in a reasonable amount of time? The answer isn’t skipping showers and losing sleep.

Here’s how: Intentionality

We must recognize our time and energy is limited. Choose the BEST things to do by asking yourself, “Which of these tasks will have the most impact?” For example, an engaging lesson will have a bigger impact on your students than getting their graded essays back to them within the week.

After we’ve identified the best things, we must eliminate or reduce things that are less vital. (For more on how to do that with the 4T method, listen to the full podcast episode.)

Next, ask yourself one key question: “How do I get this done in a reasonable amount of time?” Look for creative solutions to accomplish the same goal while taking less time.

Looking for a solution to constant teacher stress? You CAN be an amazing teacher without sacrificing your family or personal life. Use this podcast series to start improving your work/life balance!



Think of an area that's taking you way too much time.

Can you trim it by doing it less often? Can you set a time limit for yourself to get it done?

If neither of those work, look for a better way to get it done. Don’t settle for the way you’ve “always done it.” For example, do you have to write individual comments on each student’s essay? They definitely need that feedback, but can you accomplish the same thing with a separate grading sheet that has frequently used pre-written comments on it that you circle?

To find out how you can use the 4T method to be intentional, and for more examples of creative solutions that save you time, listen to the full third episode of the podcast series above: How to Reduce Teacher Stress & Create Work/Life Balance. 

How to Reduce Teacher Stress & Create Work/Life Balance

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THIS SERIES:

#4: Should We Do our Best on Everything?

Should we do our best on everything?

I bet your gut reaction is, “Of course!”

After all, Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”

BUT - Does that mean we should give our best effort to EVERY task that comes across our plate? EVERY little piece of our job?

I don't think so.

This is an extreme example, but it’s real. I remember my professor saying we should tape corners in perfect squares on the back of the overhead frame, explaining that we want to do our best on even the little details because we're serving God.

Does the thought of taping perfect little squares on an overhead, in the midst of all your teaching responsibilities, seem laughable? Do you think that’s what God wants you spending your time on?

Um, no.

We know that time is finite. If we are saying “yes” to taping perfect corners on the overhead, we are saying “no” to something else that probably matters more.

"Doing our best" in something that doesn't matter might actually result in our overall job being done to LESS than our best ability - because we've wasted our time & effort on things that don't matter.

Looking for a solution to constant teacher stress? You CAN be an amazing teacher without sacrificing your family or personal life. Use this podcast series to start improving your work/life balance!

So - NO, we should NOT do our best on everything.

Instead, we should:
Do our BEST on what matters MOST
Do the BARE minimum on things that do NOT matter
Do what we CAN on the tasks that fall in-between


Are you not sure how to differentiate between what matters and what doesn’t matter? Listen to this week’s podcast episode for the key questions you need to ask yourself when seeking to save your best effort for the things that MATTER.

Don't miss this BRAND NEW course.

Cut 5-10 hours off your workweek without sacrificing your effectiveness so you can stop the stress!

#5: Using Boundaries & Schedules to Create Better Work/Life Balance

If you want to create more balance in your life, one of the most powerful things you can do is to BE INTENTIONAL.

You want to be an exceptional teacher, so you spend every free second planning engaging lessons, grading papers, and communicating with families. But if you spend too much time scrolling Pinterest for ideas and prepping materials, your relationships and personal well-being will suffer.

The Lord has more for you than that. Besides working, He created you to do things like rest, nurture your relationships, and accomplish other important tasks.

If you can carve out a few minutes each weekend to plan your schedule intentionally for the week ahead, you will reap the rewards at home and at school.

Here are three things you can do:

1. First, write down the times you WILL work and WON’T work during the week. Knowing when you'll be working and not working sets a framework for the rest of your schedule and keeps you accountable so you don't work too much.

Here's an example:

2. Next, specify the times when you will do teaching-related work at home during the evenings and on the weekend. Writing down your at-home work time will allow you to communicate your plans with your family and it will also help you to set a stopping point so that you can move on to other things you need or want to do.

3. Finally, plan out your family, friend, and rest time in advance. This goes beyond putting obligations like appointments or activities on your schedule - you want to include the things that bring you LIFE. Try putting a date night on the calendar or choosing a specific time over the weekend to practice Sabbath rest.

Intentionality with your schedule will not only result in more work/life balance and help you to prioritize the things that matter - it will also help you to glorify God as you trust Him to provide for all your needs while you rest.

Do you want to learn more about how to use your schedule to glorify God and bring more balance to your life? Listen to this podcast episode for a more in-depth look.

To be notified via email when the next podcast series is released, [thrive_2step id='4859']sign up here.[/thrive_2step]

You can also subscribe to the Teach 4 the Heart podcast in Apple PodcastsSpotify or your favorite podcast app.

Don't miss this BRAND NEW course.

Cut 5-10 hours off your workweek without sacrificing your effectiveness so you can stop the stress!

Thanks to Our Sponsor: LifePlus Worldwide

More and more of the world is closing its doors to Christians, and countries like China and the UAE are limiting the number of Christians able to work and serve in them. But in spite of these closed doors, teachers and educators can still get into these largely unreached areas.

LifePlus Worldwide is a group of Pre K – 12 international schools located in China and the United Arab Emirates. The schools are Cognia- accredited with instruction in English at all grade levels.

Part of a global community, LifePlus Worldwide is deeply committed to the peoples and cultures they serve. Holistic education helps students grow into servant leaders of outstanding character, competence and calling.

LifePlus Worldwide offers qualified educators competitive salary packages including paid housing. If you'd like to find out more about teaching aboard with LifePlus, go to LifePlus Worldwide

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Looking for a solution to constant teacher stress? You CAN be an amazing teacher without sacrificing your family or personal life. Use this podcast series to start improving your work/life balance!

This article may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a resource after clicking the link, Teach 4 the Heart may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for helping support Teach 4 the Heart in this way.

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