Teaching is a very challenging career. To make it successful and long-lived, you must have coping strategies.

There's always work to be done in the Education sector. Teachers need to be counsellors, nurses, motivators and leaders. That kind of emotional labour and behavioural management can be hard to switch off but ultimately lead to burnout. Being aware of that and taking time to put your well-being first is crucial.

You can do that by putting a few coping strategies in place.

find a place in the middle

Very successful people in the corporate business world have three places in their life. They have a home, they have work, and they have a place in the middle.

That place in the middle is all about them. It could be going to the gym. It could be going for a run. It could be sitting on the bus or the ferry on the way home.

We know that people who have that third place and commit to visiting it daily are very successful.

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be mindful

Being a teacher or educator isn't all holidays and six-hour days – it can be a 24/7 job, and the struggle for work-life balance is accurate. Mindfulness is a significant way of dealing with stress for many teachers. We also believe it's a practice that will become increasingly important for all people, including children, to learn in such a busy, technology-driven world.

We now recommend that all educators and teachers do a course on mindfulness – there are also a lot of books out there that can help.

Woman explaining something to her students
Woman explaining something to her students

share mindfulness strategies

If teachers and educators understand mindfulness, they'll be in an excellent position to teach the children the same tactics – remember, they too live in a world where information is thrown at them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What's more, these days, there's little to no break from technology for these future generations. So by understanding and practising mindfulness, teachers can pass these strategies on to the children – this will undoubtedly help them throughout adulthood.

seek strength in others

When things get a bit stressful, stop, take a deep breath and live in the moment. If items become overwhelming or fall outside your expertise, lean on your colleagues, ask for their help and use their strength to get through.

prioritise the non-negotiables

The final strategy to help teachers cope is time management, prioritising the things that are non-negotiable versus the negotiable things. Use a to-do list and commit to the order it's written every day – you'll get to the things that aren't crucial when you have time.

By identifying the non-negotiables, you permit yourself to leave the negotiable tasks, which is very liberating and leaves you more time to get on with the essential things – like educating children!

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about the author

Matt Hodges

national director, randstad education

With over 15 years of experience in the recruitment industry for Education, I manage a large, dedicated team of consultants across Australia and New Zealand. My work philosophy is about maintaining the human touch in recruitment and utilising technology as the stepping stone for delivering a distinctly human experience.