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How Do I Balance Life at School and Home?!

January 29, 2017

Hello again, exhausted momma/wife/teacher!

Today I’m going to talk about how you can be the best at everything all the time. How your house and classroom can be spotless, all laundry is done, your own children are fed, and your students are reading and writing beyond grade level. Basically, how you can be superwoman, put that cape on, and do it all!
HAA! Yea right! That would require a magic wand…and unless Cinderella’s fairy godmother is willing to share, we won’t have that wand. So, what we’re really going to talk about is how you can give your best when you need to, and move on when you need to. For starters, be present. If you’re home, focus on your home, if you’re at school, focus on school. I have never had much success in bringing my school work home because I get so distracted with housework that I tend to only do both halfway. The same thing goes the other way. I can’t tell you how many times I have told myself that I would make my grocery list or do my meal planning during my lunch or planning time at school…we just end up going hungry because it doesn’t happen! (Not really, because I have an amazing man who goes to the grocery store. That’s right ladies, my husband is man enough to grocery shop – Thank the Lord for him!). At home focus on your house and your family. At school, focus on your students and your work.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Plan it out before you do it. (You will hear the word plan from me a lot because I’m a HUGE planner). Seriously, the night before a task, plan what you want to get accomplished. I usually clean on Saturdays, so Friday night I will make a quick plan of what I will clean first. If I know my boys will be out of the house, I’ll start with cleaning the floors, then move to the bathrooms, and so on. (I’m a little wack-a-doo and even plan the order I’m going to wash my laundry…are we still friends??) Same thing with work, sit down at your desk during planning time on Monday and think, “I’m going to do all my plans for next week and pull out my materials,” and actually do it in one setting without any distractions, kudos to you and your superwoman-ness…please share the wealth! But if you’re like me, that task seems so daunting that you tend to find anything else in your room to do to keep you from it. Instead, plan small goals for each day (girl, set yourself up for some success!). For instance, on Monday during planning, I know that I want to focus on the next week’s phonics skill and lessons. So, I will go ahead and pull out my materials and things to copy. I make my anchor chart a week in advance so I am ready and don’t have to rush the morning of (because another thing you might not know about me is that I may or may not be late to work every day). Then, Tuesday can be your day to work on another subject, grading, or whatever else you need to get done. If you’re planning time isn’t long enough to do this, plan on staying late after work one day a week. Once you’ve done this a few weeks, you’ll be in the routine and get it done!

Set a timer

Timers are used so much in my home and classroom because kids don’t have a good, or any, concept of time so they need a timer to help stay on track. When I’m working, I’m the same way. If I’m at home cleaning, sometimes I’ll clean for hours and forget to each lunch. I only remember because my tiny human that lives with me is complaining he’s hungry… #momfail. Sometimes I’ll plan on staying after school for thirty minutes, work like a mad woman, then realize it’s been two hours because my husband is calling to see where I am! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the task, that it takes away from the other areas of our life. It’s not fair for your family or your students to suffer because your focus is so one-sided. That’s why setting a timer for your tasks is so helpful. Make sure it’s realistic, though. Don’t give yourself 15 minutes to grade, record, and analyze your CFA data! Set a timer on your phone, work as hard as you can in the time you’ve allowed, and when the timer goes off, STOP. Even if you don’t finish, just stop. You did the best you could do, and now it’s time to be a wife, mom, soccer coach, chauffer to gymnastics, or whatever other responsibilities you have. The point is, it’s time for the next thing.

I want to encourage you to find what works for you. Not so you can be superwoman, but so you can be the best wife/momma/teacher/friend that you can be.

Happy teaching, friends!

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