Balancing Act

Since starting my third (and final) year of Initial Teacher Education, I have become aware of the demands of the degree programme, in particular the ever-growing amount of independent reading. While I am enthusiastic about the subjects being taught this year (Effective Teaching and Learning, Education and Professional Studies, English as an Additional Language (option), Science and Technology (option), and Research Project), the shift in learning ownership and being able to critically analyse literature has become apparent. Although I relish being challenged, and like to think I put my all into all of my academic work. I have recently noticed that my personal life has begun to suffer. While I want to achieve the highest degree classification I possibly can, and become an inspirational teacher. I need to consider those around me who are not immersed in the wondrous world of education. I am guilty of having neglected my personal life in the past few months and may have possibly caused irreparable damage. The question now, is how can I achieve a harmonious balance between my professional and personal life - of which both are equally important.

I have always considered myself a career man, and hungry to achieve the best I can in all of my work. However, I am in a privileged position to have a great support and social network of friends and family. How can I excel in one without neglecting the other? One way I am attempting to do this, is to focus on my academic work during typical work hours (namely 9am - 5pm), and focus on my personal life in the evenings and weekends. Ultimately switching from 'Uni Dave' or 'Mr Church' to just Dave. In the past couple of weeks, this approach appears to be working (with the exception of last night, when I wrote this post!). I am therefore hopeful that I can stick to this approach without too much compromise on either side.

I guess the proof will come when I receive feedback on written assignments this year - will they achieve the academic success I strive for? Equally, will I still make it to the pub regularly and socialise with my friends outside of the demands of university? I know I'll try my hardest at this too. Afterall, "all work and no play makes Jack [Dave] a dull boy".