Everything has happened so fast! One day we were teaching and preparing for standardized testing and the next we were at home trying to figure out how to work Google Classroom and teach remotely.
You might be feeling a little overwhelmed and uncertain about what you should be doing now that you are home every day.
Here are a few suggestions that I think will help you to feel more productive and relaxed.
Give Yourself Grace
We are our own worse critic. We are so hard on ourselves. But, now more than ever, you need to give yourself a break.
Yes, distance learning may look a little messy for you right now. You may not understand all of the technology and the assignments aren’t perfect. It’s harder than ever to meet the individual needs of your students.
You can’t be expected to become a distance learning expert teacher overnight!
Think about it this way: you have been practicing your craft as a classroom teacher. You started with college courses and then classroom observations. Eventually you were a student teacher with a mentor that guided you. Finally, you were a new teacher. Every day was a learning adventure for you.
You did not become the very amazing teacher that you are overnight!
Give yourself some grace.
You threw something together with very little time, expertise or resources. You made it work! That is a such a big deal.
You love your students and that means more than any assignment that you send via Google Classroom.
Pat yourself on the back and make a deal with ourself that you will slowly get better at teaching online, but in the meantime, you will just keep doing your best. No apologies.
Create a Daily Routine
As teachers, we are creatures of routine. We pee every day at exactly 11:22 and 3:35. We have ten alarms set on our phone to remind us of daily commitments. (Have you turned those alarms off yet?)
Routines make us feel safe and add predictability to our every day.
Well, school closures just destroyed your daily routine. Not having a routine can feel uncomfortable.
You don’t want to stay in this hot mess state. It’s time to create a new routine.
You don’t have to go all crazy teacher and schedule every minute of your day, but do make a basic schedule.
Include time for:
- distance teaching (If you are required to do so.)
- spending time with your children
- time for your spouse
- household chores
- daily walks or exercise
Once you have a basic routine in place, you will start to feel more in control of your day and your time. You will be more productive and feel calmer.
Focus on Self Care
School closings are awful. We miss our students and we worry about their well-being. But there are some silver linings and I think it is important that we acknowledge those.
A week ago teachers were complaining about burn out and stress. They were overwhelmed and overworked.
This is your time to recuperate! This is your time to get refreshed!
So take some time each day to focus on YOU. Pour into you.
This will look different for everyone, but here are some great ideas:
- read or listen to a book for fun
- focus on your hobbies (such as scrapbooking, photography, gardening, hiking, etc.)
- take bubble baths
- meditate or do yoga
- start a gratitude journal
- listen to podcasts
- take an online class that interests you
This is your opportunity to spend a little time on those activities that you love, but you rarely have time for when you are teaching!
I know that many of you also have kids at home that need care and attention. That makes self care a bit harder. But you are teachers! You usually manage and care for 25 kids per day! I am confident that you can create a schedule that includes at least 30 minutes per day for self care.
Spend Time with Family and Fur Babies
In many ways this goes right along with self care. This time away from the classroom is the perfect opportunity to enjoy your family!
So spend time talking, playing board games, and going for walks. Help your kiddos with their online learning and cook some meals together.
Time is so precious! Spend it on the people (or animals) that mean the most to you.
If you are missing family that don’t live near by, this is a great time to have a Google Hangout or to FaceTime.
You will be back in the classroom and crazy busy again before you know it. Use this downtime wisely!
Have a Not So Wimpy day,
P.S. If you are still looking for resources to use for at-home learning, check out THIS blog post.