Avoid expectations, labels and judgements: this one for me is a key. It is easy to label situations and move on or expect things to go a certain way. Never have adaptability and flexibility been more needed. It is so easy to judge the tone in an email, judge a set of circumstances or assume people’s feelings. However often what I assume or predict is simply not accurate. Trying to avoid making judgements or predictions means that you can go a little easier on yourself.
Avoid resource overload : best intentions are on display at the moment. Organisations, companies, other teachers and people in general are throwing a range of free trials to the public. There is SO much information and resource sharing. It is overwhelming. Everything is made to sound good and easy. Everyone has an opinion about what sounds great, what is a great resource and what would be best for kids. Stop. Breathe and go with what is the easiest and what the students know. All of these free resources are excellent but we have not had the time to teach students how to access and use all of these yet. Start small and familiar and slowly build from there.
Stop comparing: this school is great as they do it this way their students. My favourite line so far of Covid19. Many opinions are being shared on social media of what other teachers are doing. Posts of how parents are adapting and making amazing Insta worthy learning spaces for their kids are popping up everywhere. What is really happening is that teachers and parents are designing what works best for their family, their situation and their kids. One size in this case does not fit all because I assure you that every situation is different. You simply can’t compare schools and teachers. Avoiding comparisons is the key to feeling more confident in what you are doing.
Set a switch off point and automate an email: when working from home, it is easy to blur the lines between what is work and home life. You want to do as much as you can but you also need to look after yourself for the long haul. There is always the temptation to just check emails for five minutes and clear them. Families are also working at all hours to accommodate their situations. There does come a time when you need to switch off emails. Setting vacation mode for weekends also allows you to have uninterrupted breaks. Often over the two days, issues often resolve themselves anyway. Set clear boundaries to allow yourself a full mental break.
Celebrate success: at first, there was no way I was going to get on video. No way was I going to open myself up for critique and judgement on my teaching style. Yet five weeks in and here I am doing videos and Zoom meetings confidently and easily. I am more confident using Goggle Classrooms. I have discovered new email features, new tricks and new strategies. Learning I would not have normally had the time to cultivate. Set aside time to record down your new skills. Stop. Take a moment and be proud of yourself.
We often forget to celebrate the successes. I cannot believe how teachers have adapted quickly and have pushed their skillset so rapidly. We have become learners during this process like our students. As we find our way through this path all I know is that our students are lucky to have so many worldwide educators going above and beyond to help them access some form of learning. Stay strong teachers.
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