The COVID-19 pandemic has forced sudden and dramatic change on everyone, and this is especially true for teachers. Having to work from home is one thing when you can do most of your tasks on your own. Having to deal with teaching children online, managing their homework and testing, and communicating with parents is quite another.
Not only is the task itself stressful, but there are all the added stress and uncertainty the pandemic piles on top of you. Maybe your friend or family member tested positive, or your partner was laid off and you’re worried about having enough money to get by.
That’s why you need to do everything you can to manage your stress so you can keep doing your job like a rock star. Here are 5 tips to help you and your students deal with the stress of the situation.
1) Allow for Unexpected Change
The pandemic has not only put us through a dramatic change but continues to change things. You may be faced with students who don’t have enough parental support because of their jobs. Others may wind up moving or dealing without the technology they need to do some of their studying.
It’s important that you set open and easy expectations for yourself and your students, and prepare for the unexpected to happen. Don’t try and predict what might happen, just allow time and space to deal with whatever crops up.
2) Have Open Lines of Communication
One of the best ways to avoid trouble and any stress that comes from it is to have open lines of communication in all directions necessary. Make sure parents and students know all the ways they can contact you, and make sure you know how to contact them.
You should also make sure to have open lines of communication with your fellow teachers and the school board. Bounce ideas off of each other, share success stories and be there for each other to help everyone through the pandemic.
3) Keep Workloads Realistic
Many students will have difficulty adjusting to learning online and the constantly changing landscape caused by the pandemic. It’s important for teachers to adjust the workload appropriately to give everyone room to breathe.
Your students will likely not be able to handle the same amount of homework or studying as before. Many will need to be individually supported.
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4) Take Time for Yourself to Relax and De-Stress
You are human, and you need to be able to relax and unwind after work. Make sure you’re not overdoing it, and that you have boundaries set with students and parents so you have time for yourself. Go outside to breathe the fresh air, get exercise, and set up regular times to talk with friends and family on the phone or an online video chat like Zoom.
If you find the stress and anxiety is too much, you can always talk with your doctor or mental health professional. They can recommend tips for handling stress, such as mindfulness meditation, prescription medication, or over-the-counter stress relief supplements such as premium CBD oil from reputable sources.
With these tips you will be better equipped to deal with teaching your students online during the pandemic. It is important to help keep everyone as calm and in as good a mood as possible, so you can all get through it together.