Aug 26, 2023

Mastering the Art of Work-Life Balance for Teachers by Building Healthy Boundaries 

Do you find yourself overwhelmed with long working hours and too many responsibilities at school? Are you wishing to create a better work-life balance as a teacher, where you can spend more quality time with family and friends or pursue activities you love? Do you struggle to say “No” when asked to take on more responsibilities, fearing disappointment in others? If any of this resonates with you, then keep reading because this blog post will delve into the work-life balance of teachers, teaching you how to identify if you're a people pleaser and the four boundary types you may encounter in both your school and personal life. By the end of this post, you'll also learn some powerful boundary scripts and sentence stems to confidently advocate for yourself, your time, and your mental well-being during the school year.

I want to start with a quote.  I’m not sure where I heard it, but here it is: 

“The only people who will get upset with you about setting boundaries are the ones who are benefitting from you having none.”

Setting boundaries is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance and preventing burnout. It allows you to protect your time, energy, and emotional well-being, enabling you to focus on what truly matters to you. Remember, taking responsibility for your burnout is the first step towards creating positive changes in your life.


Identifying If You're a People Pleaser:

Being a people pleaser means prioritizing others' needs and opinions over your own. Here are some signs that indicate you might be a people pleaser:

  1. You always agree with others, even if you don't genuinely feel the same.
  2. You apologize for things that aren't your fault or constantly seek to make others happy.
  3. You find it challenging to say no and automatically say yes to any request.
  4. You change your behavior or compromise your worth to fit others' expectations.


Understanding the Four Boundary Types:

As teachers, we encounter various boundary types in our daily lives. Here are the four common types and their characteristics:

  1.  Controllers: Controllers fail to respect others' boundaries. They can be aggressive controllers, using explicit control, or manipulative controllers, using persuasion, guilt, or trickery to get their way.
  2.  Avoiders: Avoidants have difficulty asking for help and struggle to express their true needs. They fear being vulnerable or appearing weak.
  3.  Compliants: Compliants say yes to everything out of fear of hurting someone's feelings or rejection. They seek to be dependent and fear others' anger or punishment.
  4.   Non-Responsives: Non-responsives are self-absorbed and ignore the needs of others. They may be indifferent to others' boundaries.


Creating and Communicating Boundaries:

Now that you know your boundary type and the types of people you might encounter, it's time to establish and communicate your boundaries effectively. Here are some sentence stems to help you get started: 

Stating Your Preferences:

   - I like ______.

   - I don't like ______.

   - I would prefer ______.

   - Yes or no ______.

Showing Your Truth:

   - I'm disappointed that ______.

   - I'm hurt that ______.

   - I will not ______.


   - If you do this, then ______.

   - When you do this, I will ______.

   - This issue isn't productive to discuss right now.

Building Emotional Space:

   - I need an hour to cool off.

   - Let's talk when we're both calm.

   - I won't argue with you.

Creating Physical Distance:

   - I need some time to think about this.

   - I'll get back to you on that.

   - This conversation is not productive at the moment.


Setting boundaries is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance and preventing burnout. Knowing your boundary type and the types of people you interact with can help you navigate these interactions better. Practice communicating your boundaries using the provided sentence stems to protect your time, energy, and mental health. Remember, it's okay to say no and take care of yourself. By prioritizing your needs, you'll create a more sustainable and fulfilling teaching experience.

If you're looking to move through your burnout but don't know where to start, you can download chapter one of "Hacking Teacher Burnout" for free. This book will help you take your first steps to navigate through burnout and regain control of your life. Simply go to to access the free download.

Additionally, if you're ready to set boundaries and need support in finding clarity, confidence, and courage to advocate for yourself and your time, consider enrolling in the Burnin Teacher University course. This comprehensive program will equip you with the tools and strategies needed to create a more sustainable career in education. Visit  to learn more about the Burnin Teacher University course and take charge of your work-life balance today. 

Remember, you are more than just a teacher, and it's time to prioritize your well-being and happiness.


Call to Action: Things You Can Do Tomorrow 

  1. Identify whether or not you’re a people pleaser. 
  2. Determine your boundary type and the boundary types you’re dealing with.
  3. Try a few of the sentence stems to practice advocating for yourself. 


Resources Mentioned in This Episode 



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