Answer this honestly – how many hobbies or interests do you no longer regularly follow because of teaching?
As I write it’s the final weekend of the summer half term. The academic year has flown -year 6 sats are done, year 11 are on their way out and we have seven and a half weeks until the long, glorious summer holidays.
What a perfect time to think about you.
A hobby could be anything from a class you go to, a sport you play or a skill you work on outside of work. Whatever hobby you’re interested it’s important you value, protect and commit to it even in the dark days of the teaching winter.
Keeping a hobby will always teach you something new. If it doesn’t – try another one, something you’ve never done before. Yes of course as teachers, we are always learning and developing – but that’s not the same as starting something new, trying something you don’t think you’ll be very good at and seeing it through.
It’ll stop you working all the time
The more I talk to teachers as part of The Healthy Teacher project I see that we’re often pretty bad at putting work down and getting on with our lives. If you have a hobby which you go to at 8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays (for example) there’s a non-negotiable time that you won’t be working. That’s important, use that, keep to that.
Doing something regularly that’s NOT to do with teaching and NOT with people who are teachers will give you perspective. Perspective that life goes on outside your school. It will remind you that although the work you do is important, so is spending time away from it. It could even make you better at your job when you get back because you may realize that thing you’ve been worrying about wasn’t really that bad.
Something fun or interesting to share with your students
How nice is it to talk to students about your interests outside of school? Have you ever noticed how much they pay attention when you’re talking about things that are not based on the lesson you’re teaching? Remember we’re not just teaching students to pass exams – we’re teaching them by our own example and your commitment to your hobby could be inspirational.
Hobbies are fun!
This last one is obvious, right? But we are animals that are designed to have fun, enjoy life, do things that we like – having fun is our natural state, not the other way around. We were not designed to worry about things we can’t change, stay up late marking or over think about the quickly depleting numbers of glue sticks, highlighters or green pens in our classrooms.
As we start back for the new half term think about that thing you used to do but haven’t for a while, or that thing you’ve always wanted to do… then go and do it!