Many teachers have found themselves scrambling to support students from afar multiple times already this year, often with a few days or even a few hours notice. Balancing working, parenting, and teaching from home can seem like an impossible task, but making a few changes to your routine and vowing to take good care of yourself the rest of the time can help.
Adjust Your Workspace
What do you need in your workspace to get you into the right frame of mind and help you to feel better? If you usually like a bright workspace, then create that for yourself at home. Use flashcards to remember points you need to bring up, and utilize filing cabinets and other organizers so that there is less visual clutter, and you know where everything is so you can focus on teaching.
Keep It Simple
You are no longer in the same room to clarify certain things for students. This means simplicity is key. Simple instructions will help them with self directed learning, so provide very clear instructions and few resources to avoid confusion. You can also provide PDFs as students can always access them. Don’t beat yourself up for having to change your teaching style, as nobody could have been prepared for this year.
Control Your Breathing
The box breathing method is a good way to keep stress to a minimum. Taking deep belly breaths is a very underrated breathing technique that can help to reduce stress and increase focus. You don’t need a special drink, tool, or gadget to help you relax. You can practice taking deeper breaths any time.
Define And Communicate Your Work Boundaries
Figuring out your work boundaries is key, or you’ll feel like you never have time off. How many hours do you want or need to work? How much time do you want to devote to spending with your family/on other interests? How will you distribute other chores? By setting a rough schedule for yourself and sticking to it, you’ll have a little more normalcy, and won’t feel guilty for working late into the night.
Find Other Teachers Who Are Going Through The Same Thing
Finding other teachers who are going through the same thing as you could be a relief. You may be able to swap tips and tricks, and simply listen and support one another when needed.
Limit Exposure To Negative News
If the news has the power to stress you out, try to limit your exposure to it – at least before you’re due to teach online. Keeping up to date is important, but watching nothing but bad news all day will have a negative effect on your ability to teach and your mindset.
Even if you have to stay at home, stay active. A quick work out can help you to stay clear headed and feel better about the day ahead.