How to hack your school commute

Your commute needn’t just be spent playing Candy Crush - here Grainne Hallaham offers tips to make the most of your time

Grainne Hallahan

Teacher wellbeing: How teachers can make the most of their commute

Despite children seeming to believe that all teachers live at school – “I saw you in Nando's, Miss!” gasped in sheer disbelief – most teachers have to commute to work. 

And with many opting to live outside of their catchment area, the commute can sometimes eat into the working day more than we’d like.

But should we give up? Write off that time as unusable? Of course not.

Quick read: The key to teacher wellbeing? A better mental diet

Quick listen: The truth about mental health in schools

Want to know more? Experiments in human behaviour

There are many ways you can hack your commute to get the most from it.

Get into a good book

Feel like you don’t have time to read? Audiobooks are the answer. It doesn’t matter if you’re commuting in your car, by train or being green and cycling or walking in, this is your chance to get into a good book.

Audible has many excellent books available on its monthly subscription service. Or you can also use your local library, where you have the choice of borrowing books on CD or using the online service and downloading to your phone.

Have a workout

Teaching is a pretty sedentary job, and although you may have mad spurts of movement during the day (if only sprinting from the photocopier to your classroom and back again was considered an Olympic sport), most of the time you’re restricted to the limits of your classroom.

Swapping your car journey for a bike, or even running home, can maximise your commute time, and make you fitter. Win win.

Speak to parents

I used to stay behind and sit making all my parent phone calls, and then sit in traffic for 90 minutes as I crawled home around the M25. One day it struck me how ridiculous that was. 

So instead, I switched my phone to withheld number and made my way through my call list in my car. As a result, the calls tended to be quicker, and I was home earlier. 


If you often feel like you need a few minutes (or an hour) to unwind when you get through the door, try to start this on your commute.

Mindfulness apps are really good for talking you through guided meditation that will help you switch off from work more quickly, and get your head in the right place for your evening.

Or try, instead, listening to a comedy show. Laughter is proven to lower stress levels, so giggling your way home is an ideal way to finish your working day. 

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Grainne Hallahan

Grainne Hallahan

Grainne Hallahan is Tes recruitment editor and senior content writer at Tes

Find me on Twitter @heymrshallahan

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