I can really do this long term!

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Published on 21/12/21

Michelle Allis is a secondary Maths ECT at East Point Academy in Lowestoft. Here, she shares her ideas and strategies of how best to keep on top of workload and alleviate stress.

The looming thought of teaching a near full teacher’s timetable in the first year of being a fully- fledged teacher brought fears of huge workloads and increased stress. I knew I was not alone though in wondering how best to deal with the impending increase in workload. The first couple of months have proven to be a trying time but there are a number of things that have assisted me in getting to the point where I feel I can really do this long term:

  • Having a supportive colleague base and department has been a huge blessing. Teaching brings good days with highs and bad days with lows but being in a supportive and understanding environment has been the ultimate coping mechanism.
  • Remember you don’t need to reinvent the wheel - use shared resources, adapted to meet your needs.
  • Realise we are only human and our best is all we can offer. Sometimes that might not seem enough, but that is okay. Get up the next day and try again.
  • Be organised! Keep on top of each day’s tasks. Use every spare moment in your day. This is probably the most important mechanism which will alleviate stress from your teaching life.
  • Don’t believe the adage of not smiling before Christmas. Be kind and smile. It releases endorphins and improves your mood; we are all more productive when we are happy.
  • Learn as much as you can from the experienced teachers around you. Observing other teachers allows you to pick up useful ideas and techniques you may not otherwise think of.
  • Make connections, not only within your department but also around the school. That friendly smile and helping hand you very much need will often come from an unexpected place. Feeling a part of a school community is a big part of coping within a stressful, yet highly rewarding, vocation.