Week 6&7 Where’s my work/life balance?

Week 6 & 7 were very challenging for me and have turned into one giant blur. This is because everyday I was so tired. I’d wake up in the morning, go to work, come home and work until the moment I went to bed and repeated the cycle. I’m sure that this is no different to what everyone else is doing BUT I have never experience a tiredness like this. I felt tired to my core from working every single moment and couldn’t function doing basic tasks (at one point I didn’t even trust myself to drive!)

Over the half-term holidays I spent everyday working on my first PGCE assignment and by the time Sunday rolled round I still hadn’t ┬áplanned my lessons for Monday!

I’m a hard worker by nature and don’t give up easily but I can honestly say I have never found anything so challenging. I enjoy teaching and being in the classroom interacting with my pupils but its all the time spent around that and the hours of lesson planning and never-ending to-do lists that are getting me down. I always feel like I am playing catch-up with myself and hate the thought that I can’t get on top of everything.

Despite this I do have a few tips for time management and organisation:

  • Create an ultimate to-do list. Instead of using your planner/diary and writing daily task lists get yourself an A4 sheet of paper and write EVERYTHING that you need to do on it. Each day, with a different coloured hightlighter, highlight what you are going to do for the day. This makes it easier to add on tasks as and when they pop into your head/w hen they are allocated to you
  • Create separate to-do lists. Over the half-term this worked like a dream. Create a list for ‘school’, ‘university’ and ‘personal’. Highlight daily tasks in the same way.
  • Allocate specific tasks for PPA. Go through you’re timetable and decide what exactly you are going to do in each free period e.g. Mon P2/3 subject knowledge development, Tue P5 teaching standards evidence etc. Stick to this like glue and it should minimise the amount of work you take home.
  • Personal time. Create some time for yourself every day when your don’t do any work, talk/think about work. Relentlessly stick to this

In week 6 & 7 I started taking over more groups to teach for whole lessons. My mentor has allowed me to teach lessons using departmental resources, so far, but I’m finding it very daunting to plan and teach 8hrs of lessons per week from scratch. The PGCE students at my school are still only delivering starters while pulling my hair out over the whole lesson. SCITT is definately more intense, the expectations are definitely higher.