So many of my friends teach, in schools, out of school hours, in specialist areas, the arts, fitness & sports and often as volunteers at Brownies or Scouts on top of a full time job.
A famous saying says 'fail to prepare then prepare to fail' and it can be so true. But oh, the prep time it takes to be ready for action! Fellow teachers you will know that an hour of delivery often equals a further hour - or more - at home.
This can be quite a demand on both a person and their family. Of course, half terms and the longer Christmas and summer break offer some chance to recharge batteries, but make no mistake as you read this - teachers will be working, often into the evening and always some part of a weekend - even though school may have finished, the leisure centre closed - the gym in darkness.
Teaching is a vocation job. A passion. For the passionate, think carefully before a criticism of a teacher. Walk in their shoes I say.
A work life balance is essential for us all. I struggle to achieve that balance, but I am improving at trying.
Here are my top tips:
Aim for one day each weekend that is absolutely free of work related things. And one whole weekend a month free of the same.
I use my 'I am out of office' I am not, my office is my home, but it enables me to choose what to reply to and what to leave until Monday morning.
I try to get outside -tending a garden makes you feel fabulous and free
Friday evenings are for friends or a date night - failing that, the sofa, a nice glass of wine and undemanding TV or a gripping book.
I am eating more vegetables, bizarre, I thought I was pretty good but joining in one daughters Veganism and two other family members allergy helping diets is making all of us eat even more plainly than before - and the energy I have is quite extraordinary. With an added bonus of reducing our families carbon footprint by eating less meat.
Finally, I am going to try and do some things that make me laugh - too much responsibility seems to have set that aside a bit, I would love to reclaim that side of me.