Teachers across the country have started their holiday breaks and the feeling among most of them is one of giddy anticipation (and relief). Teachers I talked to this past week can’t wait to sleep in. They’re looking forward to spending time with family, Netflix bingeing, or taking a relaxing vacation somewhere warm and sandy. Few spoke of material goods they hoped to get for Christmas. They were already getting what they wanted, time.
Teachers, like all other working stiffs, value time off because it gives them the one thing they don’t have enough of most of the year, and that one thing happens to be the most precious commodity on the planet. Time off from work means time away from schedules dictated down to the minute by someone else. It means time away from mindless meetings and baffling policies. It means time spent with loved ones instead of co-workers, nice people though they may be. And, if we’re being honest, it means time away from kids who aren’t yours to spend more time with the ones who are.
Time, long stretches of it, hour upon hour, where we can mostly do whatever we want, is the one gift everyone appreciates. And it’s a gift teachers can give themselves.
It’s strange that many of the same teachers who so value their time off around the holidays think nothing of wasting it once school is back in session. They devote hours of their weekends to checking papers and planning lessons. They go to school on Saturdays to run copies or put up new bulletin boards. Some voluntarily give their time to committees they don’t even care about.
Help is Available
Many of these teachers simply don’t know how to do things any differently. They realize that they’re exhausted, but aren’t sure how to break the cycle.
If you are one of these teachers, there is help available. There is a way for you to get yourself the best present any teacher can ever receive. Small investments now can chop hours off your weeks so that next Christmas you aren’t as overwhelmed.
You can read some previous posts on this blog. Start with these:
You might also check out my 10-part series on preventing teacher burnout, which starts here or read my books, Leave School At School and Exhausted, which go into more detail. If you have trouble telling people no, then you’ll want to subscribe to Teacher Habits so you can purchase my upcoming book, The Teacher’s Guide to Saying No, at a low, members-only price.
And you should give the 40-Hour Teacher Workweek Club a look as well. To date, 45 Teacher Habits readers have joined the club and are now benefiting from increased efficiency, lower stress, and shorter workweeks. You can read some of their stories here.
85% of members who joined the club last January trimmed at least three hours off their workweeks. If you cut just three hours off each workweek, you will have given yourself an additional 108 hours each year to do whatever you want with. That’s almost five days, the length of spring break. Wouldn’t you like to give yourself a second spring break?
And you get to use the knowledge you gain from the club the rest of your career. Over ten years, you will have gained 45 full days. Over 20 years, you will have given yourself half a school year.
Is the Club Worth the Money?
How much is your time worth? If you don’t know, consider the question this way: How much would your district have to pay you to attend a one-hour voluntary professional development opportunity after school every Friday that offered you nothing except the chance to earn a little extra spending money?
Would $20 get you there?
Would you need closer to $30?
Would no amount be worth it to you?
Even if you value your personal time at a measly $10/hour, by saving 108 hours each year you’ll realize a value of over one-thousand dollars in the first year alone and that’s if you only save 3 hours per week and only value your time like my local McDonald’s values its teenage employees’ time.
So how much would you pay to save three hours every week and have those hours to yourself? The math is simple. Right now, the cost to join is $129 (it goes up January 1). Almost everyone who joins gains at least three hours per week, which works out to about a dollar an hour. Isn’t your time worth more than a dollar an hour?
There are only four reasons to not consider the club:
You don’t think it will work for you.
You don’t value your time.
You’re not good at math.
You don’t think you have the time to read the club materials.
You should know the following:
Only 2 out of every 100 teachers who join utilize the money-back guarantee and ask for a refund. The club does what it promises. It works. And one reason it works is that you can work through the material at your own pace and you don’t need to do everything to derive huge benefits. You can pick and choose and still save hours. The club’s content is also available in audio form, so if you don’t have time to read it, you can listen in the car.
And of course, if you don’t have time to learn how to give yourself the gift of more time, then I’d suggest that you need the club more than most.
Give yourself more of the best gift any teacher can ever receive. Give yourself more time to do the things you want.
Links to the 40-Hour Teacher Workweek Club are of the affiliate variety. That means I get paid a commission if you join. It’s a great way to support yourself and Teacher Habits!
I am, once again, partnering with Angela Watson to help promote her 40-Hour Teacher Workweek Club. It’s an online professional development program that has already helped more than 32,000 teachers take control of their time and stay focused on what matters most. The next cohort starts in July, and the Club has been updated to cover emerging best practices for the changes ahead. Click here to join!