Work-life balance

Emma Sue Prince

Who is it for?

The Macmillan Education Online Conference 2016 is open to all teachers and professionals working in ELT and is completely FREE to attend!


Having a healthy and balanced relationship between working life and leisure/family life is becoming harder and harder and never more so than for the teacher. Life can feel like a rollercoaster once the academic year starts with weekends and evenings eaten up with work. Add to this that the lines between work and home are blurred for most professions, practical issues such as childcare and finances, our lack of effectiveness at "multi-tasking", our "always on" culture and inability to focus and and this creates a recipe for stress and imbalance in our lives.

Registration coming soon!

Tuesday 8th November 2016

14.00 - 14.45 (GMT)

This interactive session will provide practical examples, tips, ideas and illustrations to support teachers in creating a healthier work-life balance.

By the end of this webinar you will:

  • have a stronger understanding of key factors that contribute to work-life imbalance
  • understand which are areas you can control
  • have some practical tools you can put in place to achieve more balance
  • be able to take action in areas so that you feel more in control

About the speaker: Emma Sue Prince

Emma Sue Prince is a qualified teacher and management development trainer, author and business consultant. Her expertise lies in soft skills, trainer training, materials design, qualification development and management development. She provides employability, soft skills and education consultancy in emerging economies all over the world and is currently working on large-scale projects in India, Malaysia, Tanzania and in Bangladesh in partnership with the Department of International Development and the British Council. Emma Sue is director of a free membership site for teachers and practitioners who deliver soft skills and personal development.

A quick Q&A with Emma Sue Prince

What inspired and continues to inspire you to talk on the work/life balance?  

Before becoming an English language teacher, I studied history. I’ve always got lots of inspiration from the lives of great men and women throughout history. I’ve found that many of the lessons they have to offer can be applied to the world of teaching English. As well as looking into the past, there are so many great stories of people doing great work in other fields too – and that’s where the inspiration for this talk came from.

What will people learn from you at the MEOC 2016?

I hope they will get a sense of perspective about their lives, their work and be able to put in action some of the ideas and tips that I’ll be presenting. I want them to come away from my webinar feeling lighter and more in control!

Tell us about your latest/recent projects with Macmillan?  

I’ve just finished a book for Palgrave Macmillan. It’s a study skills book for students and all about linking practical business communication skills to how our brains work – there is an interesting link with balance too because there are chapters about being more productive and working smarter and much of that is in turn within our control – how we use technology for example. Understanding a bit more about how your brain works is going to be a great asset when it comes to communicating effectively whether you are writing, talking, presenting or messaging online. Getting a stronger sense of awareness about yourself and your, often automatic, responses to things can help you to retrain your brain to use more appropriate thoughts which in turn will lead to more effective behaviour and outcomes. The exercises give you small chunk-sized activities that you can hopefully easily incorporate into your everyday life and notice an immediate impact. By developing awareness we are much better able to manage ourselves and look after ourselves well. Most of our communication skills are fully within our own ability to control and improve. Practising self-awareness helps you to feel and be more in control over your life and your ability and confidence to deal with situations and make decisions. Rather than resorting to “flight” or “fight” mode when we are asked to give a presentation or when someone sends us an abrupt email or doesn’t act as we had expected we can rise above those automatic reactions and choose a different response. We can recognise when we are tired or feeling stressed and do things that can help us. We can adopt routines and strategies that help us to live more fully and to engage more fully and positively with the world around us.

I’ve also just completed working on a White Paper on Life Skills for Macmillan which defines life skills and how they are best taught within schools and integrated into curricula.

What is your top tip or piece of advice for teachers?

  • Plan, plan, plan! I don’t mean lesson planning – I mean your life, your goals, your days. Find out what is important to you and how can you get more of that into your life.
  • Breathe – most of the time we don’t breathe correctly and when under stress even less so. We need to incorporate correct deep belly breathing into our days at regular intervals allowing oxygen to move around the body properly.
  • Sleep – sleep deficit is one of the worst things we can do to ourselves. We all need to get more sleep!