Hobbies seem to be elusive as a teacher. We even joke about our hobby being teaching! So I’m going to answer this question: Can teachers really have hobbies?
While it may be true that having hobbies as a teacher is more difficult than for people with 9-5 jobs, I do believe it is possible to have hobbies as a teacher. Furthermore, I think it’s SUPER important that as teachers we express ourselves through hobbies.
Why are hobbies important for teachers to have?
Look. I know as well as you do that all of us teachers come last on the to-do list. We’ll make copies for the next class before we even go to the bathroom sometimes. Our students (and other priorities like family, friends, church etc.) get taken care of before we take care of ourselves.
So – in that mindset – hobbies are going to be pretty difficult to interject into our lives. BUT because of that mindset, hobbies are all the more important to us.
Over time we break promises to ourselves – we move our desires (including hobbies, self-care, personal needs etc.) off of our to do list – which sends us a message over time that says, “I am less important than my students, my family, this new after-school committee I joined etc.”
By prioritizing your hobbies you replace that message with this one, “I’m going to do this for me because it brings me joy and I deserve a joyful life!”
Hobbies help us reconnect with the parts of ourselves that have been shoved off the to-do/priority list for a long time. Sometimes we don’t even recognize or know that side of ourself. Hobbies are an opportunity to become friends with our more well-rounded self again.
One of my hobbies is baking. I just LOVE to bake. The flour dusting the kitchen, the apron, the sweet smell of something in the oven – I love it all!! And my favorite thing to bake are my famous chocolate chip cookies (well- famous in our potluck circles – I’m always signed up for dessert before I even get the signup sheet!). I have even shared the recipe with you at the bottom of this post.
Can Teachers Really Have Hobbies?
The answer is YES..IF.
YES, a teacher can really have hobbies IF she prioritizes them as an important way to reconnect with herself and bring more balance to her life.
YES, a teacher can really have hobbies IF she believes that she knows what’s best for her time. She knows that she is the best decider of what to do with her time (not her principal, colleague, etc.).
YES, a teacher can really have hobbies IF she has boundaries around work/life balance that are realistic yet firm. She’s not going to expect she will get 2 hours for her hobbies during conference week, but she knows that on a regular week, she can priorities an hour for a hobby she loves because that makes her more wholehearted and joyful.
Rekindling Your Hobbies
If you’ve been ignoring your hobbies for a long time, this may seem daunting. But here are some steps you can take to rekindle your hobbies:
- Set Aside the Time: This is the most important step. There is nothing worse than getting all excited to do your hobby and then you can’t find the time to do it. So first, look at your schedule and find some time to set aside (even if it’s only 30 minutes on the weekend).
- Decide What You’ll Do: Okay – I know – no brainer right?! But here is the key – decide what you want to do based on how much time you can give. If you only have a little bit of time, you may not want to commit to doing say a full-blown community bake sale for charity when you only have 30 minutes once a week to devote to this. Overcommitting (even to yourself) will turn your hobby into a stressor.
- Do it and Enjoy it!: Stay committed to the time you’ve set aside and enjoy the extra time you have to express yourself and bring joy to your life!
Okay…now here is the freebie…
BONUS: Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Here is my “famous” recipe (originally seen on Food Network)
- 2 sticks of butter (yup!)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3 cups chocolate chips (yup! yup!)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
- Add the vanilla and eggs while mixing.
- Whisk together the flour and baking soda and then add to the wet ingredients.
- Using a spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.
- Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
Enjoy lovely teachers, and post a comment below to share your hobby!
All my love,
~Alison, A Teacher’s Best Friend
Photo credit: New York Times