As the school year gets underway, let’s not forget about the teacher moms.
Teacher moms, as defined by yours truly, are the maternal mamas who have the great pleasure of raising twenty-six (or even more) children while also experiencing the joys of trying to raise their own family.
As the school year continues, we, teacher mamas, have to navigate the balance of a classroom full of students’ needs, along with our own needs. And, shockingly to some parents, our family’s needs.
Here is some advice to those who are trying to rock the mom-work-life balance and some thoughts we wished others knew about walking in our shoes.
You have to find that work-life-family balance outside of school.
Many teachers go the extra mile and spend countless hours putting together classrooms, organizing lessons, and buying treats for their students. We may not want to buy our own children treasure box prizes but we certainly will for our classroom of students.
We want to be seen as real people with a life outside of school. Midnight emails, after school phone calls shorten our time with family and friends. Moving forward this year, set the bar to leave work behind. Those stacks of papers to grade, IEP reports to complete, and parent conference reports will still be there for you on Monday; however, the moments to savor your child’s first sport game, a day spent lounging in the sun, or time with your spouse won’t always return.
Don’t be afraid to share your fears.
I feel as if many parents see us as a human machine throwing test scores, student percentages, school rankings, and discipline charts towards them. Sometimes new teachers see master teachers knocking their to-dos out and they begin to feel the pressure. It’s all right to step forward and say you’re lost or you need guidance. What is not all right is to suck it up and fret, which brews anger and disappointment destroying what could still be an awesome school year.
Regardless if you are a veteran or new teacher, life is constantly changing and will bring both good and bad times, so when the going gets tough let someone know before you crash.
Remember to enjoy your days and pamper your soul.
Contrary to belief, us mama teachers do try to get out and enjoy our weekends and breaks. This goal sometimes gets lost when we face the mountain of to-dos to get done.
The first two years of my teaching career, I ate, breathed, and (if my principal would have let me) probably slept at school. Unfortunately my son, ate, breathed, and stayed at school with me until the custodian kicked us out. During these long hours, I obsessed over the needs of my students and what they needed to succeed. I enjoyed teaching; however, I was too tired to enjoy my days afterwards.
It wasn’t until my third year I truly began to enjoy my time teaching and still arrive home to enjoy my evenings. I fully believe teaching is a passion that you have to be called to fulfill. However, if you fail to take care of yourself and align your soul with positivity, gratitude, and love, this will be a profession that you will not survive for long haul.
When you leave school behind, make yourself do something to enjoy the rest of the day. Go for a walk, read a book, binge on Netflix, take a bubble bath, as long as it helps you prepare for the classroom of faces you will see the next day.
Program yourself to act now.
Our words and experiences are here to help you before you become overworked and burned out. Take some time this weekend and program how you would like your day to flow and then act on it. Work on building that discipline to become organized, to enjoy your family more, and take care of yourself. Remember aspirations without discipline are simply goals unachieved.