Essential Tips for Teachers During Covid-19
It’s difficult to imagine how life will look when we emerge from our pandemic isolation. The world will be different, in both good and bad ways. There will be consequences, far reaching. I never thought I’d see a pandemic in my lifetime. I thought 9-11 was my defining moment as a young educator. How I comforted students, scrambled to reach loved ones, consoled friends who had missing relatives, watched as smoke and ash rose from ground zero on my way into work on 9-12. 9-11 seems so fresh in my memory that even 19 years later this pandemic seems like an unfair punch. Like the world is kicking us while we’re down. Where are my 40 something teachers? You feel me on this one? A GLOBAL HEALTH CRSIS? WHAT? Haven’t we had enough? When 9-11 happened and the schools surrounding NYC didn’t close, I remember thinking “What in the world would make them close schools?” Now, I know.
We are here now, in the midst of a global pandemic, and teachers have a unique role to play in all of this. We have been tasked with educational continuity, from afar. Distance learning is not something this country is ready for, but here we go! In fact, teachers do this ALL THE TIME. No warning, just make it happen… and by and large, we do. The task here is huge, but we can handle this, together. Take care of YOU first and then you can focus on your students. You will be stronger when this is over. You are learning so much, in such a short time and it will make you a better teacher, a better person.
Here are 4 tips to help get you started on this journey called
“The Teach From Home Life”.
Call your friends, coworkers, family members! Stay connected to other humans. FaceTime, group chats, you know, all the things you weren’t crazy about before the pandemic, could actually be a blessing right now. These are unprecedented circumstances and being lonely isn’t good for your mental health, so reach out.
Also, don’t ignore the people IN your house. Plan some time for family meals, board games, movie nights, etc.
I’m not a schedule person. However, maintaining a routine isn’t exactly the same as having a schedule. If you’re like me, your morning routine included coffee and The Today Show. It doesn’t matter if I get out of bed at 7am or 8am, I will stick to my routine. It helps establish sone normalcy in these abnormal times. Shower daily, check emails, etc. Establish some kind of routine for your “New Normal” days at home.
PUT ON REAL CLOTHES! REALLY! It helps! Pajamas are for night, clothes are for day. You’re welcome.
Practice Healthy Habits
You really need to stay healthy! Eat well, sleep well, stay hydrated, move your body, and calm your mind. If you were already doing these things, awesome! If not, maybe focus on adding at least one healthy habit into your routine. You want to be your best, so you can handle anything this “teach form home life” throws at you!
I don’t “workout”, but I make sure to move everyday. Go for a walk, vacuum, laundry, etc. These all count!
I keep to a sleep routine by going to bed at roughly the same time every night. I listen to a sleep story on the Calm app to help me doze off and ease anxiety.
Also, I walk around my house with a 24oz Starbucks cold cup filled with ice water and sip all day!
Whatever works for you, do it! Please, don’t ignore your well being.
Establish Guidelines for Work
Ah! This! This goes back to establishing routines. Set office hours where you will check emails and correspond with students, families, faculty, and staff. It may be difficult, but you don’t have to respond to a 10pm text! Work form home, doesn’t mean work 24/7. YOU WILL BURN OUT IF YOU WORK AROUND THE CLOCK! Find a way to shut it down and practice those healthy habits mentioned above.
Be well, my friends! We are in this together!
Feel free to reach out to me @elenaweisstpt on instagram