Establishing Balance at the Start of the School Year

Summer’s adventures and excursions are dwindling, and your email inbox is filling up with welcome back notifications, professional growth opportunities, new initiatives, and meetings. These clear signs that a new school year is set to begin mean it’s time to shift your focus toward preparing to welcome a new group of students. This shift in focus can also be a helpful reminder to find a balance between your professional and personal life before the school year, with its various tasks and obligations, commences. Taking the time to establish this balance will help you feel more productive and in control as you manage the pressures and busy schedules that a new school year can bring.Work/Balance

Establishing Balance

One way to begin the process of establishing balance is by taking time before the school year starts to identify what you want to prioritize both in your professional life and in your personal life. What works for you? What are your nonnegotiables? What activities or tasks help you feel centered? What can you do to proactively prepare for the year? For example, consulting a resource such as Yardsticks by Chip Wood allows you to proactively consider the developmental needs of your students prior to the start of the school year.

Ways to Balance

After deciding what your professional and personal priorities are, and what will help you establish a balance between them, it’s time to determine what practices and activities will support the balance you are striving to create. Some ideas to consider might include:

  • Exercising before or after school
  • Setting a specific time in which to leave school each day
  • Scheduling time to connect with friends or family
  • Disconnecting for 15-30 minutes to take a walk or engage in a relaxing activity
  • Taking a few moments alone to meditate or use mindfulness practices
  • Establishing set times to complete school work
  • Beginning a new class, hobby, or project

Maintaining Balance

Maintaining balance takes some work. However, the benefits of sustaining a healthy professional and personal life balance are numerous, including reducing stress and increasing productivity at school and home. Here are a few tips for supporting a healthy balance throughout the school year:

  • Establish boundaries – reserve time for the activities and relationships that are important
  • Recruit an accountability partner – connect with a friend or colleague with whom you can check in
  • Set small attainable goals – establish a reasonable professional and personal goal to work towards
  • Assess your priorities regularly – determine if changes are necessary

Establishing and maintaining a balance between your professional and personal life is an opportunity to figure out what matters most to you and how you want to invest your time and energy. Striking the right balance will help you foster an attitude that supports your overall well-being for the school year.

Tags: self-care

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7 Replies to “Establishing Balance at the Start of the School Year”

  • Thank you for the tips. I think it’s really important to set attainable goals both professional and personal. That way it will help you reach them and then will want to set other goals and so on.

  • At the end of last year I asked my staff to share one personal or professional goal they had for the coming year, including things we could do to help them achieve the goal and how they would know they met the goal. We put them all in a google doc that we are going to use all year at staff meetings to check in with each other.

  • This article could not have come at a better time. I really need to establish balance for the beginning of this school year since my class size has increased by at least ten more students than my past years.

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