Balancing acts

Tips from the Pros provides a venue for member-to-member dialogue. Professionally Speaking invites teachers to participate by offering their philosophical perspectives and practical advice for day-to-day life on the job.


This issue's question:

How do you balance the demands of home and school?

Members whose questions and responses are selected for publication receive an Ontario College of Teachers portfolio and pen.

Here are some of the responses we received.

Prioritize, compromise

Prioritize. Be clear about your priorities for both school and home. Set limits. Determine your standards, examine your resources and have realistic expectations. Do not try to be a perfectionist. Make compromises.

Shukla Dattais is based in Toronto and teaches Grade 12 economics in summer school.

Turn it off

Recognize that your work as a teacher is never done and that you don't get paid overtime, even if you work until midnight. With this in mind, turn off the computer or close your marking book at a reasonable hour each evening so that you can spend quality time at home and/or with your family.

Vera C. Teschow is a program resource consultant in the Peel District School Board.

What comes first

At times (report cards, open house, etc.) school will have to come first. Otherwise, put your home first. Lose your job and you can find a new one. Lose your family and - well, you get the picture. Most importantly, talk it over with your family.

Dale Matthies is an elementary school teacher retired from Holmesville Public School.

Plan and renew

Planning is paramount: lessons, units, assessment tasks, extracurricular activities, material procurement, everything. But don't forget to plan for rest, renewal, spiritual growth, recreation and entertainment.

Out-of-school activities - surprising as it may seem - will complement and support your busy
in-school activities.

Xavier Faziois a curriculum consultant responsible for science programs in theHalton Catholic District School Board.

Care for you

Set regular work hours and stick to them. It is too easy to get over-involved in your job. Take care of yourself first. Find something you really enjoy and plan your schedule accordingly.

Having an activity separate from school and family gives me something to look forward to, and that helps keep me focused. I play tennis, which is both social and athletic.

Marie-Josée Zingone teaches Junior and Intermediate French at Waverly Public School in Oshawa.

Just say no

Don't be afraid to say no. You don't have to be involved in every extra-curricular activity and you should not feel that you always have to take part. Just say no and spend time with your family.

Sharon Archibald is a vice-principal and Grade 11 English teacher at Pelican Falls First Nations High School in Sioux Lookout.