If you are like me, you’ve been teaching remotely now for about 3 or more weeks and, to be honest, there are many more weeks ahead. Remote teaching is now a reality for so many of us now. You’ve probably been swamped with resources and expectations, but hopefully you are now settling into a decent, if not ideal schedule that will work for you and your students.
However, there are some really important things we need to consider as we head into this next stage of remote teaching and learning. These things have nothing to to do with academics or online resources, and yet, they are some of the most important things we teachers need to keep in mind as we continue to teach from home, especially during this pandemic.
Let’s get started!
Remote teaching is now a reality for so many of us now and as we head into the stage of the experience, there are a couple of really important things we teachers all need to keep in mind.
If you are like me, you’ve been teaching remotely now for about 3 or more weeks and there are many more weeks ahead. You’ve probably been swamped with resources and expectations, but hopefully you are now settling into a decent, if not ideal schedule that will work for you and your students.
However, there are some really important things we need to consider as we head into this next stage of remote teaching and learning. I want to discuss these 3 points with you now.
Number 1 – Building Relationships
The most important thing you can continue doing as a teacher is building relationships with your students. Keep being seen and keep reaching out to your students and their families.
You can do this with comments in classroom groups, posting still pictures of yourself and sharing a video every so often. So many teachers are turning to video conferencing with their students which is a great way to keep connected and to let your students know that you indeed care for them and are here for them.
Our students miss us, or at least the experiences they have when they are in school with us, so showing up, reaching out and assigning meaningful work is key.
And speaking of assigning meaningful work, you may want to check out my newest resource made specifically for students to journal artistically and meaningfully during this time of at-home learning. You can check it out in the comments section below.
Number 2 – Teacher Self-Care
The second thing I want to emphasize as we head into more remote teaching is teacher self-care. So many of you are working your butt off making sure the learning experiences for your students are relevant and comprehensive. You are stressing out about access to the curriculum and just plain missing your students.
Believe me, I get it. I miss the face-to-face work with my students too. But as you take care of your teaching work, you need to give yourself permission to take care of your personal life as well:
- Caring for your family
- Working with your own kids
- Supporting your spouse
- Making meals
- Checking in with extended family and friends
It’s important that you know your boundaries and when to say no. Think about how often you are checking email or how long you are spending in front of the computer doing school work.
Take note of what you need and what your family needs. Ask for help from your administrator and colleagues. And if you need to say no to something because you have more important things to deal with, respectfully do so.
At the time I’m recording this, I really think that we are going to head into some really difficult times ahead and for that reason, taking care of yourself and your family first is so important.
Number 3 – Empathy
And for that reason, this is my final message to you. As we move into the next stage of remote teaching, it’s time for us all to practice EMPATHY.
We have to remember that all our families are dealing with so many things right now: from shotty internet access and mixed up schedules to anxiety, loss of jobs, being overworked and inundated with paperwork for unemployment and overdue bills.
Some families have people who are in healthcare- a very stressful position to have right now and other families are dealing with sickness.
So, what’s the final message here? As you plan for your weekly lessons, be sure to take care of yourself and your students. Only assign what you believe is necessary and meaningful (and of course in line with your school’s expectations). Be good to yourself and cut yourself some slack as you continue to navigate this changing situation you find yourself in. And remember the empathy we need to practice for ourselves and our students’ families.
You just don’t know what others are dealing with right now, so be kind and remember that the most important thing for all of us is to get ourselves out on the other side of this pandemic with some semblance of health and positivity.
If you need some support through this time, come join our Inspiring Teachers community where we will support and encourage one another through these next few weeks and beyond.
I’m sending you all my best.
Take care of yourself.
At Home Creative Journal
Your students can be engaged in the arts while they journal about this unprecedented time!
30+ journal entry ideas that include: visual art, music, dance/movement, drama, storytelling, family and poetry
This is a whole folder of resources to assign a Creative Journal!
✅Students keep a journal during this difficult time
✅Creativity plays a part in each entry
✅Easy for families to implement
✅Students’ emotional needs are met
✅Use “as is” for upper elementary and older
✅Younger students and those with special needs can do this with simple guidance from family.
✅Instructions for you (PDF format)
✅Video instructions for you
✅At-Home Creative Journal list of ideas for your students
✅Video instructions for your students and families
Give your students the opportunity to be creative and engaged in this meaningful journaling project!
Join our amazing FB community: Inspiring Teachers! Share ideas, ask questions and get support from colleagues around the globe who believe in the power of arts in education!
PLUS – Get access to the 5 Part Series: Transitioning Your Teaching to Online
Join our Facebook Group! http://facebook.com/groups/inspiringteachers