Staying positive and productive in such troubled times as we’re experiencing now can be difficult. With all these restrictions put in place - social distancing, limiting the number of people in gatherings, mandatory quarantines, and more - some people may begin to feel very isolated, anxious, and depressed. How are you supposed to continue teaching and learning in these conditions?
We’ve already posted a blog about how to continue your instruction through e-learning methods. But we know that learning is only a small part of what schools provide both students and adults. Another main component of going to school every day is the social aspect. Moving to an online format can take away the much needed social support for many who depended on those 8 hours of the school day to meet these needs.
Maintain positive interactions with your students with a warm welcome each day for your students. You can use apps like Bitmoji to lighten your communications. Keep it light-hearted but also make sure they know that you care about them. Also, give your classes opportunities to collaborate with each other throughout this time.
And don’t forget about your teacher friends!! Everyone - from the first-year teacher who is living on their own to the 15-year veteran who has three young kids at home - needs a reminder that they aren’t alone. Send your friends a funny meme, a Snapchat of your current mood, or, if you’re feeling super nice, a bottle of wine because we all know that teachers need one every once in a while!
Working from home can not only be isolating at times but also full of distractions that can impede productivity. Young students with short attention spans are not the only ones who can be affected. Busy adults can often have a difficult time focusing on their work. Teachers who have children at home may have an added obstacle. While you can’t get rid of your children, there are ways to remove many of your distractions so that you can remain productive during the day.
- Establish set hours to work
- For both you and your kids
- School-aged kids will most likely have school work as well
- Younger children can be given activities to do or toys to play with. You know what your kids enjoy and can be occupied by.
- For both you and your kids
- Have a designated workspace
- Again, for both you and your kids
- Take breaks to have a snack, complete household chores, or go for a walk
- When you’re done for the day, do something together with your family
- Watch a movie
- Cook dinner
- Play a board/card game
It is important to stay positive and productive in these days of difficult social restrictions! Use technology and the many social avenues available to stay connected to students, friends, and family. Take a walk outside and enjoy the warm spring weather (vitamin D is essential to keep the winter blues away). Keep up with your work, but don’t forget to balance it with your home life.