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Work-life balance

Am I the only one battling to switch off?

My ten days with Twitter has inspired me and reminded me that teaching is far more than a job as far as I’m concerned.  Which is a good thing.  I think…

But I’m beginning to wonder whether there’s a problem with all this educational enthusiasm that I have been treating myself to recently.

Nicola Stables’ recent blog post, Switching Off, made a lot of sense to me;  the importance of going off for a week or so and not thinking about school or education.  And a couple of days ago I tried it – for a few hours.  I went and had a relaxing time in my local spa, which I enjoyed thoroughly.  But as I packed my bag to leave, I needed to decide on the book to take with me, and I nearly chose one of the education related titles I’ve treated myself to over the past few months and haven’t had the chance to read yet.

Now what’s that about?  I knew I was off to relax and to forget about work, but even so my first thought was not the novel by the side of my bed, but a book about learning.  I’m not saying that I think wanting to read a book about learning is a bad thing, far from it, but I do think that the difficulty to consciously try to step away from the job is a worry.

And then I thought about the fact that, as much as I love the time that the holidays offer, I never quite settle.  I had always assumed it was the difficulty with suddenly having so much freedom of choice and no one to demand anything of me (you may guess at this point that I have no family at home!) but I’m not so sure.   Is the actual problem that I can’t switch off because that would be like switching off a part of me?

A few days ago I posted:

#Iamateacherbecause I am a teacher: it’s not a job, it’s who I am. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

and I think this is the issue.  I don’t feel a little lost in the holidays because I have too much time on my hands or because I  miss the company  of my colleagues (although both those things are the case); I feel lost in the holidays because I feel I should stop being a teacher and focusing on learning and education – and I’ve just realised that I don’t want to.

Does this sound really weird to everyone else, or are there others out there who share my dilemma?  I’d love to know (and don’t worry, I can cope with being weird!).

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  1. August 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Great blog Lara!! I find it difficult to 'switch off' during the holidays too and find myself being drawn back to anything related to education. This year's definitely been a rollercoaster ride as I discovered twitter just before the holidays and #ukedchat which makes CPD addictive! Then of course we got to see Life and the potential that has to transform how teachers 'teach' and learners 'learn'. What will be next??!

  2. August 26, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Thanks, Matt! There's a bit of me that's glad I had a few weeks of the holidays before I discovered Twitter – because now there's no going back! A power cut kept me away a few days ago, but that's really rather drastic (and pretty literal 'switching off')!

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