10 COPING Tips for Teachers at Home
Here we are. At home. Away from our students. Staring down the barrel of uncertainty.
With this uncertainty comes a host of emotions. None of this is on our terms and it’s difficult to be the teacher we want to be during these times. It’s easy to spiral out and the worries for our students, for our community, and for humanity can take over.
Well, Joy in Teaching has compiled a list of 10 simple coping tips to help teachers (and everyone else) be the best they can be during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Feel free to add more ideas, and tips that are working for you, in the comments section.
3. LIMIT YOUR FEED
I cannot stress the importance of this one enough. Turn off your notifications people! Not having your phone “ding” every time there is a news conference or more data about COVID-19 doesn’t mean you are less informed. What it does mean is that you will get caught up when you are mentally and emotionally prepared. This is a small act with a big impact.
4. CHANGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
When it comes to school, our students, and our personal life we all need to check our expectations. We can’t expect things to be as they always were because they are not. This doesn’t mean we can’t have expectations, just that they need to be flexible and understanding – with others and ourselves.
5. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
There’s a whole lot happening that we can’t control and that’s stressful, but one way to combat that stress is to focus on what is within your immediate control. Repeat after me, “What can I do from where I am with what I have?”. Maybe that’s your next meal or a load of laundry, a nap, what you’ll say to students, or how you’ll support your community. Focusing on the tasks you CAN do help you feel a semblance of power and control in these uncertain times.
7. SET DAILY INTENTIONS
Okay maybe your spring break plans didn’t happen and you’re looking at those summer plans with a doubtful raised eyebrow, but that doesn’t mean that planning is out of the window. Setting daily intentions and making plans may not involve destinations anymore, but that doesn’t mean that they still aren’t important and help up remain forward-thinking. Consider a weekly video happy hour with friends or coworkers or an old-school drive through the country to keep you looking ahead.
9. FEED YOUR SOUL
Now more than ever it’s important to listen to yourself. What do you NEED? Is it rest? exercise? nourishment? entertainment? distraction? challenge? Listen to that inner-voice asking you to feed your soul and give in to what it says. As always, but even more so now, taking care of yourself helps you be able to take care of others – including your students who miss you.
10. KEEP THINGS FRESH
One positive of this time is that we can try out some new things. Take this into your online classroom – try zooming with your class from your phone while on a walk or new and innovative ways of demonstrating learning processes. Have students share and teach each other – now is the perfect time to experiment with methodologies and try new approaches.
This list was inspired by a list started on the Joy in Teaching’s Instagram account and is not by any means exhaustive. Please leave your coping ideas and tips for teachers in the comments below so that we can all benefit from each other during this time.