- Develop a routine: this works for me. It may not work for you. My first priority was to get a routine going. This helped me to separate work from home even when they were all in the one space. It put me on auto pilot mode and it was one less think that I had to think about
- Make student connection a priority: our life and world has shifted and it is a challenge for everyone. No matter what you do or where you are, life is affected somehow. As adults, some of us process this and adapt quickly and some of us don’t. Some people have the skill set to shine, others are finding their lives horribly changed. Children will be in the same boat but with less life experience. Their world will have been turned upside down and they have to learn to adapt as well. For some of them, this may be a good transition. For others, this may cause extreme distress and confusion. The main goal that I set myself is to let my students know that I am here for them. I will be here when they need and I will do the best that I can to help them.
- Document: this one will evolve over time I am sure. I make sure that I document according to the school guidelines and expectations. It shows what I do with my time and how I am contributing. I save my emails and make sure that I record who I check in with and when.
- Follow the expectations set as a school: this one is tricky. You naturally want to go above and beyond for your students all the time. In the interests of consistency and fairness to all staff members, try to work as a team. Set guidelines that you all stick to so that there is no comparison between teachers. Strong school guidelines and clear communication expectations will help this transition run a little more smoothly. We were lucky enough in Victoria to have some time to establish these guidelines.
- Boundaries and space: set a clear distance between home and work. At first I got caught up in work so badly I didn’t take breaks and would be answering emails at all hours. The lines between work and home blurred really quickly. I learnt pretty rapidly that if I was in this for the long haul I needed to create a barrier between the two. I pack up all of my school materials at the end of the day. They don’t come out until the next morning.
Remember: Go slow and be strategic, do not rush into doing it all: things will develop as we move on this journey. We don’t start a new journey having achieved the end result. Things will change as no one knows how this will end or what normal will look like after this.
Things may be different for a long time. We just cannot predict what will happen. All I do know is that every teacher out there is enough. Whatever you are doing it is enough.
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