I’ve had a very interesting few days combining work and passion projects.
In just over a week I have:
- Visited The Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital in Chelsea to help deliver a cheque for money raised through an amazing local project
- Had a meal out with good friends
- Spent a beautiful three days in Rome with my gorgeous husband
- Led some training with some trainee teachers
- Supported several teachers through challenging times
- Planned my work for the Autumn term
- Had a picnic with my daughter
- Been to the doctor and made two big hospital appointments for myself
- and much more…
No two weeks are ever the same in my life anyway but the last month has really highlighted how busy and diverse life can be sometimes.
What I have been really grateful for this month has been the perfect balance of work and play. We have celebrated my daughter’s birthday, Father’s Day, a family Christening… but I have also led two big training sessions and done lots of really life affirming work too.
Being passionate about your work is brilliant. When you enjoy your work it makes life joyful. There is little need to “work life balance” because it is all just life.
However much you enjoy your work though, it is still important to balance that with none work activity too.
My husband and I are both fortunate to love our work. Don’t get me wrong there are times when it is stressful (like when I have a scary new project on that takes up every minute of the day and every brain cell in my head), but it means that we don’t get that Sunday evening sinking feeling. Everyday is great.
If you’re not careful though, every day is a work day.
I’m sitting writing this blog at 9pm on a Friday evening because I haven’t been able to get on my website.
I run training sessions and workshops on weekends and evenings.
Taking calls and answering enquiries regularly happens on weekends and evenings, because that’s when you are free to get in touch.
Does it bother me? No. Not at all.
I LOVE my job. I am passionate about Calmer Classrooms and helping teachers and children to live happier calmer lives.
Do I sometimes get carried away and forget to rest? Not any more!
I used to forget to rest, I used to work every day. I felt that if I didn’t do some work every day I wasn’t giving it my all.
It wasn’t sustainable or sensible though.
I meet teachers every week who love their job so much that they give it everything. They are passionate about supporting children’s learning and they try to give 100%, all the time. They eat, sleep and breathe teaching.
Are you that teacher?
I’m hoping that as time goes on, and there is more emphasis placed on wellbeing in schools, that fewer teachers will feel that this level of dedication is necessary.
Being dedicated isn’t a bad thing. We need passionate, dedicated teachers. But we need teachers who live outside school. Who have a passion for things other than education so that they children they are teaching can see that they are people, not teaching robots.
Children love nothing more than feeling like they are being let in to your life and sharing your passions outside school can give them inspiration for hobbies and pastimes that they might enjoy.
No matter how passionate you are about teaching, you need to have other things in your life.
I don’t know a single teacher who doesn’t go on holiday a find themself thinking “ooh what could I use that for at school” as they stare at the museum shop.
I can still remember taking photos round a castle in Germany of all the amazing tessallating patterns in the roof tiles, heaxagonal bricks, piles of wood…
As teachers we never completely switch off from school. But we have to try.
What do you do to make sure you switch off from school?
Finding a passion project can be the key to taking time out.
Whether you love playing for a sports team, crafting, amateur dramatics, playing in a band, helping with Brownies or raising money for a local charity, passion is the key to dedication.
The same passion that drives you to spend lots of time creating magic for your class, can fuel your desire to make sure that you take time away.
It might be that you want to always be able to take your daughter to football, or that you want a date night every week. Perhaps you love crafts and decide to create cards or soft toys for a local charity. If you are passionate about something, you will always make time for it.
It’s no good saying; “Well, I quite like playing golf so I will go for a round sometimes”. That isn’t passion and it won’t ensure that you stick to it.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about lots of things; spending time with my loved ones, travelling, singing and at the moment I am really looking forward to getting into rehearsals for my big passion project for 2020, The Real Full Monty. This will take up much of my spare time once rehearsals start, but I will be with my husband and son for most of that time (my husband is their media man and producer and my son loves coming and being part of it) but I will make sure I spend lots of time with my daughter too. She is doing her GCSEs next year so there will be lots of escape time for her.
This amazing project is raising money for three charities that are really close to my heart and will provide me with untold therapy. I am already starting to face some of my body confidence issues (a residue from my pre-op Acromegaly days), but it will also be my “me time”, time with friends and the perfect passion project for a year when I not only have my daughter taking her GCSEs but my son doing Y6 SATs!
Without passion projects we drift from day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year, without spending any time doing things we really love. It might be that your passion is music gigs. I wonder how many teachers manage to get to festivals at this time of year? Perhaps you are making time to watch the Women’s World Cup (I know I am, I’ve never been that interested in football but I’m really enjoying this tournament!). Whatever you are passionate about, make it a priority.
When you give yourself permission to do things you enjoy, you return to work feeling refreshed and with renewed enthusiasm.When you have a passion project you feel better and you work better. Click To Tweet
Why not read my other blogs in this subject?