The past few months have not been easy for anyone, but teachers may have the most difficult job of all as schools across the country transition to remote learning. Both public and private schools are doing all they can to improve the mental health and well-being of students at this time, but who is working to provide teachers with the support they need?
There are no guidelines for how to teach during a pandemic, and teachers are doing their very best to make sure that their students learn the necessary skills to succeed in the future. This isn’t an easy task and can be very stressful, which is why there is more information circulating regarding the ways teachers can practice self-care until this crisis becomes a thing of the past.
Many self-care tips for teachers during the coronavirus can be found online, but here are a few that stand out.
The first and possibly most important tip is to set and maintain boundaries, as working from home can make it difficult to understand when you should step away from your computer and take time to relax. Setting up a schedule to remind yourself when you should start working, offer office hours for your students, take breaks, and end your work-day are all great ideas.
Another great tip is to be reasonable with the expectations you have for yourself. There is bound to be trial and error during this process and understanding that there are many factors out of your control will do you some good, as there is no use in worrying about that which you cannot change. All of the teachers across the country and the world are in a similar boat, so reminding yourself that there is no reason to stress is important in maintaining a positive mindset.
edutopia, which provides many resources for promoting teacher wellness during COVID-19, recommends that if teachers are able, they should try to reduce the workload for themselves and for students. According to Jo Gillespie, students and families in Italy have been reporting that assigning less work will be the most helpful. The major problem with remote learning in this situation is the fact that students have different types of home lives, and it cannot be assumed that each student is capable of working at the same level at home as they normally do at school.
Maintaining good mental health and a positive mindset will not be easy for anyone while our entire world seems to be in chaos, but it is very important for teachers to stay emotionally healthy. Getting enough sleep, doing breathing exercises, using self-care routines, and practicing gratitude are beneficial to an individual in everyday life, but at this time, it is integral. Teachers should take a look through some of these resources and start implementing them into their everyday lives because they deserve to feel the best they possibly can at this time. In order to support their students, they need to have the necessary support themselves!
This post was written by one of U4SC’s Educators 4SC Research Assistants, Samantha.