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The balancing act of teaching: different for different people!

I work part-time as a classroom teacher. I was a full-time teacher and SENCO but I’m not going to talk about full time teaching here, rather how I found a professional mish-mash of occupations that helps me to have a balanced working life.

I have been full time and part-time (in the classroom) at different points in my career and for different reasons, at different times have made the change. When I’ve been part time, it’s because I’ve been doing something else alongside my teaching role that wouldn’t have been possible without dropping down my in-school hours.

So while I have sometimes worked as a part-time class teacher, I’ve always been a full-time ‘something or other’ within or related to education.

The same is true at present. I am a 0.5 FTE classroom teacher, I do research consultancy and I tutor privately. I also volunteer a morning a week in a school near where I live. All of this is ostensibly work- I am paid for it! However, it is also about balance.

I am the sort of person that likes to have autonomy of their own time. I like to do lots of different things to keep my brain working and to give me professional experiences that reinforce each other. Class teaching keeps me in touch with what’s happening in the classroom, private tuition allows me time and space to work with some really lovely learners, who just find it a bit tricky in the classroom. Research helps me keep learning and deepening my understanding of theories relating to education, learners’ experiences and also to engage with policy in wider contexts.

Shortly, I hope to be able to assess learners for Specific Learning Difficulties too; my PhD looked at experiences of learners with dyslexia and I decided that becoming an assessor myself might help young learners who are finding it tricky. Just something else to add into the mix and to keep me and my work life balanced and interesting.

I love this current life balance I have. I am bonkers busy, get ridiculously stressed from time to time and sometimes, Mr Dr Ross and I seem to pass like ships in the night. But we are both happier, now that I’m doing balanced work and now that my down-time is filled with chats about how my work is interesting and varied day-to-day.