Professional development sessions, setting up the classroom, getting to know new students and colleagues; these are just a few of the myriad of things that educators are faced with during the first few weeks of the new school year. It is not surprising that during this time, some very important people are left in the background, the families.
It is fairly easy for educators to become consumed with daily routines and procedures. While consistency to procedures is quite important to maintaining an efficient professional life, it is also necessary to ensure that this does not negatively impact on the amount and quality of time spent with your family. Spending quality time with your family should be ranked equal to, if not higher than our professional life. The following activities are designed to remind you of the people who will; cheer you up after a long and challenging day, hug you when you least expect it and support you unconditionally.
Plan a regular movie night and keep the date. It helps to create a list of movies that cover the different genres that your family enjoys watching. Votes can be taken to determine the order of the viewing schedule. This will ensure that everyone is accommodated fairly. Whether you plan a night out at the local cinema or having a movie marathon via your favourite online video streaming service, just make it fun! If you are staying in, get the entire family involved by assigning each person with a responsibility that helps to make the evening run smoothly. Tasks could include, but not limited to; purchasing or preparing the family’s favourite snacks, blanket gathering duty, or setting up the technology for streaming the movie.
Do you remember those days when everyone simply got together and battled it out playing their favourite games? Your games night can consist of good old-fashioned board games or some newer electronic games. This not only brings your family together physically but it also promotes a spirit of friendly competition. Be sure to select board games that all family members can enjoy. For the more difficult games, partner younger family members with an adult or older sibling so as to make them feel more involved.
Fun Dinner Night
Plan at least one night per week where all family members sit down to have dinner. Try to make it a night of relaxation by creating a variation in the kinds of meals you prepare. For example one week you can do a meal that has everybody’s favourite and make it a semi-formal affair. Another week it can be your favourite snacks where everyone sits in their favourite place outside or in the living area while you catch up on what each person has been doing for the week or plans to do in the days ahead. Sharing a meal together each week can be a good family tradition, especially if most members of the family tend to have busy lifestyles.
Family Day in the Sun
What can be better than crystal blue waters, warm sand and a gentle breeze while drinking your favourite cold beverage? Add to that watching your loved ones laugh and play on the beach and you have the recipe for a perfect day. When planning a beach trip be sure to include some fun activities such as making sand castles and playing volleyball. Get involved in some of the fun activities that your children may enjoy like; flying kites, throwing the Frisbee or a ball with the family dog. With plenty of beverages, sunscreen and love, any family time on the beach can be a day to remember.
Downtime is very important for all professionals. It allows them to relax and focus on enjoying the ones they love. Family time creates an environment in which your family will be able to see how much you value and appreciate them. This may also cause them to be more understanding of the times when you genuinely cannot be there. Making the effort to have family time ultimately leads to an improved work-home balance, which is key to every professional’s well-being.
By PreSha Barnes
PreSha Barnes is a freshly minted ADEC employee. She is also a Teach UAE Magazine Blogger.