Teaching is an incredibly rewarding profession, but it can also be difficult and challenging. Navigating the classroom effectively requires a great deal of patience and understanding. One of the most important things teachers must do to be successful is to set boundaries.
These boundaries allow them to manage their workload while still providing students with the best possible education. Setting clear expectations for behavior helps create an environment that is conducive to learning and gives teachers more time to plan lessons and assess assignments. In this article, we’ll discuss why setting boundaries as a teacher is essential and how it can help make teaching easier.
Boundaries you must have when you are a teacher
When you are a teacher, there are many expectations about what you will do and when you will do it. While doing your job to the best of your ability is a must, it’s also important to only do it when you’re getting paid to do it. Here are some of the necessary boundaries to help you do this.
Don’t stay late
Additionally, work can lead to burnout, fatigue, and reduced job satisfaction, all of which can negatively impact a teacher’s ability to do their job effectively. There is absolutely nothing wrong with leaving when your contract period is up for the day. That’s why they’re in your contract. While it can be tempting to stay in and do something, it can often be a slippery slope where you end up staying late every day. Go home when your classes are over.
Come early (if you want!)
When we asked the teachers what boundaries they set, many of them said they come early. For many, being able to work undisturbed in the classroom during the early hours of the morning gives them the opportunity to get work done without having to stay up late. If this doesn’t appeal to you, don’t do it! Work your contract time and then go home.
Don’t take your work home
The most important boundary that teachers can set for their mental well-being is not to bring work home. There will be always to do more, but there will never be time with family and friends. If you need to, create a firm boundary and leave your school bag in your suitcase overnight. When you can be present with your family instead of worrying about work, you may find that your quality of life improves and learning doesn’t lead to burnout as quickly.
Go to the bathroom
Using the bathroom is a basic biological need. When you need to use the bathroom, find coverage and use the bathroom. If you are working in a room where the other teacher is, it is easier. However, setting boundaries and expectations that you will ask others to cover your class when you need to use the toilet, it is convenient and better for your physical health.
Email only at school
Emails can appear in your inbox at a fast and furious pace. Instead of stressing about them or having to answer them after hours, set a notification so you don’t disturb after the contract period ends. This way, you won’t see pop-up emails and won’t be tempted to reply to them. If you have your school email on your phone, you may want to delete it so that your teaching duties stay at school and evenings and weekends can be yours alone.
Setting boundaries as a teacher is essential to your mental and physical health. Taking the time to be clear about what you will and won’t do will help create an environment where you have more time to plan lessons, grade assignments, and complete assignments. By implementing these simple strategies, such as not staying late after work, not sending emails outside of working hours, using the restroom when necessary, and leaving work at school, teachers are better able to manage their workload without compromising their mental or physical health. With this approach, teaching becomes easier and much more rewarding.
While it’s not always easy to set boundaries in school, it’s important if you want to last as a teacher. There will always be more work, more responsibilities and more pressure on you, but there will always only be one of you. Protect yourself and set boundaries to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.