Teacher Self-Care

3 Tips for Teacher Work/Life Balance

This post is to encourage teachers to create a work/life balance.

Work/Life Balance

Teachers are good at a lot of things, but a healthy work/life balance is not usually one of them. Most teachers are in the profession because they care about the students and want their students to succeed. Therefore, long hours and self-neglect are often times the result.

We know that teachers do not make as much money as they deserve, and yet they are willing to put in long hours for their students.

Because of the lack of balance between work and life outside of work, among other reasons we will discuss another day, teachers are leaving the profession in droves.

As a teacher, I spent most of my years not doing what is listed below and I was miserable. Now, I try to implement these three tips and am much happier.

Why do teachers need to practice a healthy Work/Life Balance?

As previously mentioned, many teachers are leaving the profession. Social media is full of articles and videos of teachers leaving for new careers. One of these reasons is due to a lack of a healthy work/life balance.

I would advocate that teachers need to establish this balance if they plan on being in this career for very long.

Teaching is definitely one of those professions that can consume your entire life if you let it. It is easy to constantly be grading, lesson planning, differentiating instruction for that perfect lesson, and more.

Does that sound like you? If so, please keep reading.

3 Steps for Teacher Work/Life Balance

Tip 1: Set Boundaries

The ideas presented in this article won’t benefit you if you are not willing to set boundaries. Regardless of one’s profession, everyone can benefit from setting boundaries.

However, teachers are notorious for not setting boundaries for themselves.

We don’t like to say no.

But, if you put yourself first, then taking care of yourself becomes a little bit easier. I have discovered that establishing boundaries with others is hard at first because not everyone will understand.

It’s okay, they do not need to.

As long as the boundaries you set are within the contract that you signed, no one else has the right to tell you what to do with your time.

Tip 2: Try to keep your work at work

Before I became a teacher, I worked at a warehouse for a major corporation. Yes, the hours were long and some days it was really hot or really cold in those semi-truck trailers, but when my shift was over I left without having to bring any work with me.

Teaching is not as cut and dry as working in a warehouse, but the premise is still there.

Do work at work and leave it there.

Now, I admit, sometimes I do find it hard to leave everything at work if I fall behind on grading or lesson planning. However, if at all possible, I try to do everything at school and when 3:00 pm rolls around, I am done.

Tip 3: Work during your contract hours

Just like tip number 2, I know that this cannot be followed all of the time. For example, sometimes a colleague wants to collaborate outside of regular working hours, and before or after school is the only time everyone can meet.

I would suggest doing what you’re happy with, but don’t let other people dictate how you spend your time. Your mental and physical health is more important than work-related meetings. Constantly saying yes to others and not drawing those boundaries (Tip #1) will cause you to be miserable.

It’s okay to set work/life boundaries and working only within your contract hours is a-ok.


Teacher work/life balance is not an easy balance to achieve. However, my hope is that if you are able to use at least one of the tips mentioned in this article then your life will be a little better!

What do you think about teacher work/life balance? What are your tips and tricks to achieve this precious balance? I would love to read your thoughts!

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