Five tips to managing your wellbeing as a supply teacher this spring

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

Teaching is a rewarding career - however ten months on from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers remain very much at the frontline of the ‘new normal’. They are trying their best to guide children back into a familiar setting, whilst still living in the reality that nothing is the same.




While lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional worries for teaching staff across the country, supply teachers face additional challenges, from frequently changing schools to creating emergency lesson plans overnight. Protecting your wellbeing as a teacher has never been so important.


While lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional worries for teaching staff across the country, supply teachers face additional challenges, from frequently changing schools to creating emergency lesson plans overnight. Protecting your wellbeing as a teacher has never been so important.


How can I improve my wellbeing as a teacher?


1. Establish a routine


If you are working flexible hours, or are teaching online, having a routine for the week helps mental wellbeing. The school timetable works for a reason, so transferring this into your own personal timetable will have the same benefits. Children thrive on structure and routine, and adults are no different. When planning your week, remember to mark the beginning and end of work time, and set out clear breaktimes for yourself too. If you have your own children who are home-schooling too, there can be additional challenges, so talk to them about how the day will work, and let them know when they can expect to see you.


2. Don’t aim for perfection


The desire to be perfect can be overwhelming and cause unnecessary pressure. Educators work best when alert and focused – which won’t happen if you’re tired from staying up late the night before, with lesson planning or marking homework. Take time to celebrate what you’ve done well, instead of just reflecting on the areas that didn’t go to plan.


3. Separate teaching and homelife If you are delivering lessons from home, this is often easier said than done. Whether you have been given working hours, or you have set yourself a working day, keep to it. Managing a healthy work-life balance within a teaching career can be difficult, but it is important to set aside time every day for family and hobbies. This is one of the main advantages of supply teaching, as flexible working should allow you to have some valuable ‘me’ time. Ensure students and parents are aware when you will be contactable, and work only within those times.


4. Self-care


It is important to find a moment in the day when you do something that is just for yourself, something restorative. It is not selfish to look after yourself at this time; by caring for yourself, you are investing in your own ability to stay strong. Make time to do something that will allow your brain to calm - meditation, cooking, mindfulness, reading, yoga or gardening can all be calming options. Take time to eat regular meals and reach out to colleagues or friends for chats. A quick walk in the fresh air each day can also help with exercise and mental wellbeing. Not sure when to fit in a daily walk? A few of our teachers here at Gold Education Recruitment have said that starting the day with a walk before the morning registration is a good time to get the steps in during these winter months.


5. Take your own advice


Teachers have spent the best part of a year reassuring students throughout the course of the pandemic. Just as it is acceptable for children to feel confused or worried, teachers often encounter the same feelings. Educators are constantly trying to comfort pupils that the future will be okay, no matter what happens with exams and teaching this year. It might sound obvious – but it’s really important to take your own advice! Remember to reach out to other teachers, and if you are on a short-term post - and hence still need to build up a rapport with your colleagues - there are a number of beneficial resources online.


Finally, it can often seem like ‘teacher wellbeing’ is a trendy buzzword thrown about in today’s academic environments - and as a result, it can be all too easy to dismiss wellbeing as ‘nice to have’, rather than essential.


If you are having a difficult time, remind yourself why you became a teacher in the first place. Combined with these useful tips, you can help to maintain your own physical and mental wellbeing. If you are a supply teacher, or looking for a short-term teaching role, we have a number of positions available. Search our latest teaching vacancies online:

http://www.goldeducationrecruitment.co.uk/



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