New book to help teachers find work-life balance

Supporting teachers: Dan Jackson's new book aims to help teachers become more effective in the classroom, while maintaining personal wellbeing.

Supporting teachers: Dan Jackson's new book aims to help teachers become more effective in the classroom, while maintaining personal wellbeing.

A new book from a Blue Mountains author aims to help teachers achieve a better work-life balance amid the pressures and demands of the job.

Dan Jackson of Springwood has published the book Work Less, Teach More: How to be an Effective Teacher and Live a Life You Love. The books aims to help teachers in all settings to manage their workload so they can enjoy a life outside of school and maintain relationships and health, whilst still reaching high standards in the classroom.

Mr Jackson said the idea for the book came from both personal experience as a teacher and research he conducted recently that revealed sobering insights into the life of teachers.

"Around midway through my career as a teacher, I felt very burnt-out and was resentful towards the school and the principal," said Mr Jackson, who began his career in education in 2006. "This led me to resign from that position and step away from the classroom for six months.

"Earlier this year, I surveyed teachers on my email list to discover what their number one problem was at school. I was looking for them to ask for help with programming, lesson plans, resources, or something. But as I watched them answer the survey they all told me something I already knew. Their biggest problem was they were busy - they didn't have enough time to do their job well and be a parent, a husband, or a friend.

"More and more teachers are burning out. They are all struggling to stay on top of the day-to-day, and they have no time for the more important aspects of teaching."

The book addresses how teachers can have a proactive mindset, become more efficient and better organise priorities.

"There are plenty of actionable steps provided at the end of each chapter, and school leaders are challenged to set up schools that are more effective than the current models."

Mr Jackson helms the website pdhpe.net, which is designed to help personal development, health and physical education (PDHPE) students in their HSC exams.

As both an experienced teacher and recently a trainer and adviser, he has arrived at many ideas for how teachers' lives can be improved.

"I would love to see a policy that says teachers are only expected to work a normal 40-hour week, like every other profession," said Mr Jackson. "I would like to see systems and measures put into place to ensure teachers are not working all hours of the night to try and get assessments marked, and reports written. The last chapter of the book has a range of recommendations for school leaders to action to help reduce teacher workload."

For more information and to buy Work Less, Teach More visit teacherspd.net/Book.