School Work/Life Balance – what is enough?

enough1I work with a lot of head teacher/SLT teams on work/life balance – sometimes this starts with actually having one which then leads to putting some boundaries in place.  There’s been a theme running this week with my clients around ‘am I doing enough’ which then filters into ‘am I doing a good job’.  I had a new school client in yesterday who when I asked the question ‘what is enough?’ was very stumped.  She said no one’s asked me that before!

It is amazing how we can hold such strong beliefs and thus drive ourselves to prove that we are doing enough in school and as a leader by working 24/7.  Of course the remit of school leadership IS huge, however I have a few challenges to this theory:

  • Is that really what we want to be doing – where’s the enjoyment?
  • How do we know that by not working 24/7 we WILL lose or not gain something else?
  • What’s the cost to our health, well-being and life as a whole?
  • What is lost by filling all the leadership gaps so much?
  • What is the value of allowing improvements to settle or allowing for the unexpected?

What I found really interesting in all of this is teaching and learning is sometimes very much about giving students the space to learn.  Time for reflection, time  for concepts to land and most importantly for independence and self responsibility to be developed by individual ownership of the learning process.  So if teachers and leaders are in a constant drive to achieve and be doing ‘enough’ where is the space for learning in school leadership?

Thoughts or feedback?  Do comment and let me know…#educationalleadership
Do you have poor school work/life balance? Download an educational leadership exercise here:

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Work/Life Balance Exercise

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