For my master’s thesis, I studied the time management and work-life balance of K-12 music educators in Ohio to identify strategies that music educators use to complete their job requirements and maintain a positive work-life balance. The full document and a presentation are linked below. If you have limited time (which you probably do if you are a teacher), skip down to “I don’t have enough time to read an entire thesis…” to determine the best use of your time. Feel free to share this page with others who might benefit from the information.
~Scott Bley, firstname.lastname@example.org
An Examination of the Time Management and Work-Life Balance of K-12 Music Educators (this is the full thesis document)
Google Slides Presentation (includes Speaker Notes under each slide)
I don’t have enough time read an entire thesis, but I do have a few minutes…
- 5 minutes = Read the next paragraph and the abstract (it’s kind of dry, so when you find more time, come back and watch the Google Slides Presentation)
- 10-15 minutes = Read the next paragraph and the abstract, then skim through the Google Slides Presentation
- 30-45 minutes = Read the next paragraph, the preface from the full thesis document (xiii-xvi), the abstract, and watch the Google Slides Presentation (including the speaker notes)
- 1-2 hours = Read the next paragraph, the preface from the full thesis document (xiii-xvi), the abstract, watch the Google Slides Presentation (including the speaker notes), and supplement with Chapter 5: Discussion from the full thesis document (pp. 49-78)
- 2+ hours = Read the full thesis document and supplement with the Google Slides Presentation
It is not uncommon for teachers to work beyond their contractual obligations in the evenings, on the weekends, and during the summer in order to accomplish their teaching duties (Wolf, 2002). For many, the intrinsic rewards for teachers come at the cost of high personal commitment (LeRoux & Van Niekerk, 2009). The demands on their time, among other work-related issues, have been shown to be the source of the highest areas of stress for teachers (Hasty, 2007).
This research study was designed to assess the workload, time management, and work-life balance of K-12 music educators. Using a mixed methods approach, K-12 music educators in Ohio (N = 347) completed an online survey of job requirements and estimated time spent working outside the school day. A shortened version of the Time Management Behavior Scale (TMBS) was adapted for the survey to assess music educators’ time management skills. Questions from the Work-Life Balance Checklist (WLBC) and the Quality of Life Questionnaire (QoLQ) were adapted to assess music educators’ work-life balance. The survey data was analyzed statistically and Pearson product-moment correlations were used to identify relationships between demographic variables, time spent on work, time management skills, and work-life balance. Results showed a significant positive correlation between time spent on other job-related tasks outside the school day and scores on the TMBS (p < 0.01), suggesting that music educators develop time management skills in response to increased workload. A significant negative correlation was shown between workload and work-life balance (p < 0.01), indicating lower levels of work-life balance with increased time spent working outside the school day. No significant relationship was found between scores on the TMBS and work-life balance, although a significant negative correlation was shown between scores on the mechanics of time management (MTM) subscale of the TMBS and work-life balance. This correlation may reflect their relationships with workload (i.e. as workload increases, MTM increases and work-life balance decreases, resulting in the negative relationship between MTM and work-life balance). Engagement in MTM as an attempt to gain control of increased workload may also increase an individual’s awareness of the disparity between time devoted to work and non-work commitments. Participants also responded to open-ended questions and described their personal strategies for time management and work-life balance. A content analysis of open-ended responses revealed five time management strategies prevalent among music educators in the study: list, prioritize, organize, schedule, and delegate. Four high work-life balance themes emerged from a content of analysis of responses by participants with high levels of work-life balance: identify priorities, set boundaries, take care of yourself, and priorities change. Three low work-life balance themes emerged from a content analysis of responses by participants with low levels of work-life balance: misplaced priorities, resignation, and personal sacrifice. Results may provide a starting point toward addressing concerns of attrition among music educators, developing solutions to avoid burnout, and better preparing preservice teachers for the realities of teaching music.
Hasty, R. E. (2007). Teacher Attrition: The Relationship Between Teachers’ Stress and Their Intentions to Leave Their Current Positions (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pheonix).
Le Roux, B., & Van Niekerk, C. (2009). Music teacher burnout: How do we cope with it? (University of Pretoria Library Services Institutional Repository).
Wolf, M. A. (2002). Teacher time: A study of time and tasks required to complete job related work (Doctoral dissertation, University of Virginia).