On average, there are roughly 6.7 hours of school each day, but teachers are putting in much longer hours. Many are expected to arrive an hour before the students. Once the final bell rings, teachers often put in three to five additional hours grading papers, attending meetings, performing administrative tasks, helping struggling students and more. And the work doesn’t stop during the summer months. Teachers frequently use that time to continue their own training and education as well as planning for the upcoming school year. It’s no wonder that many teachers are feeling overwhelmed.
According to an online survey published by “The Guardian,” a heavy workload is negatively affecting teachers’ motivation and wellbeing at work. Half of the 1,400 teachers surveyed said they work more than 16 hours each week beyond their contract terms. One in four estimate they’re putting in an additional 20 hours a week.
Finding a work-life balance is key. Follow these five simple tips and promotional product ideas to give your educators a helping hand.
- Leave work at work: Encourage teachers to get their work done during work hours whenever possible. When they take their work home, any stress or frustration associated with it goes home, too. Teachers work hard at work. They should play hard at home.
- Remember it takes a village: No one can do it all. Remind educators that it’s normal to lean on others for emotional support, childcare assistance, household chores or help with aging parents. Urge them to prioritize what is most important and hand off the rest. It’s OK to rely on a network of other parents, friends or family members to help.
- Seek those with experience: There is no need to recreate the wheel. Teachers should ask colleagues for advice whenever they’re dealing with a stressful situation, such as setting up a classroom, dealing with a difficult student or situation, or lesson planning. You can help by setting aside time for teachers to collaborate—hold a monthly breakfast where teachers can talk and brainstorm. Reinforce your message by providing coffee in Flower Pot Mugs with the message “Together, teachers grow ideas.”
- Unplug: Technology is a double-edged sword. While it makes lives easier, it also creates an expectation that everyone is constantly available. Phone notifications, text messages and emails disrupt time at home with family and friends. Encourage teachers to unplug when they can. The Smiling Dude Mood Phone Strap or Phenom 360 Phone Stand, imprinted with a reminder to unplug, helps promote balance.
- Make exercise a priority: Exercise is an effective stress reducer. Unfortunately, it is one of the first things to go when life gets busy. Remind teachers of the health benefits with Foldable Yoga Mats or Exercise Mats to use for yoga or meditation during free periods at school. These wellness promotional items make prioritizing exercise easy.
Teaching is a stressful occupation, but achieving a work-life balance will help keep your educators happy and healthy. Remember these five simple tips, and throw in some promotional products, to get them started.