It’s almost Christmas, and in every school across the land, excited teachers are preparing for their well-earned rest. With shopping trips, family visits, sleeping in, and all the food beckoning, Christmas is a fantastic opportunity to rest and recharge, and catch up on everything you miss during the busy term-time.
However, It can be difficult to ‘switch off’ from work during the holiday, especially as it isn’t as long as the summer break, so the beginning of the next term always seems right around the corner. For some international teachers, it can also be a lonely time if travelling home for the holidays isn’t on the cards.
At Engage, we work with teachers throughout the year from the UK and overseas, and we’re always on hand with some tips and advice to get you through the school year. Here are our top tips for making the most of Christmas as a teacher.
The most important thing you can do for yourself as a teacher is to catch up on your sleep. As a teacher, you’ll usually be running low on good quality sleep, and now is a great time to enjoy some guilt-free time in bed.
To ensure a good night’s sleep, invest in a heavy quilt, keep your bedroom on the cooler side, and avoid exercise, food and bright light in the hours before bed.
Teachers work harder than most, and you deserve a treat. When you’re out shopping for presents, put some funds aside to treat yourself to a frivolous, non-teaching related gift, from you to you. (Perhaps some bath goodies to ensure that good night’s sleep we mentioned before? British retailer Boots typically has a 3 for 2 promotion on all toiletries over the Christmas period too, so you can save yourself some pennies while you treat yourself!)
Avoid work like the plague this Christmas. In just a couple of weeks you’ll be right back there, so switch off your email (or reduce checking emails to just once a day, if you can’t go cold turkey!) and forget that you’re a teacher for this short break. The classroom will still be there after Christmas, and you’ll be a better teacher for forgetting about it for a while.
The Christmas holidays can come with its own stress. Managing family get togethers, children, shopping and cooking can pile up to the point that returning to work almost seems preferable. Find time to relax alone during the holidays – get outside for a walk if you need to leave the house to get some peace, or read a book in bed.
This one is for the international teachers, or other teachers who can’t be with their family or friends at Christmas. Many British pubs are open at Christmas, and some even provide free lunch, drinks, and social events for people who need to find some people to be around at Christmas.
At Engage, we help international teachers network with others from their home country by utilising our strong connections with expat teacher communities in the UK.
Call Education Support. Our partners at Education Support run a 24/7 support helpline for teachers who are struggling with their mental health or wellbeing. If you’re an Engage teacher, you’ll have access to their Employee Assistance Programme, but any educator can call them for support when they need to.
Join our facebook group! If you’re an Engage teacher, you can join our Accommodation Group to link up with other teachers in your area and build a local support network of teachers who have similar circumstances to you.
Register with Engage. To take full advantage of the benefits of being an Engage teacher, including travel and retail discounts, you can register as an Engage teacher and begin working with an agency that puts your support first.
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