Teachers are the workhorses of the education world. Brunting all that is decided for us. With the pressure we already have and now a pandemic, what are we to do? First off, take a breath. You are amazing, talented, and passionate. During this time parents around the world will now see first hand what you have been saying about their children, the good the bad. You have been thrown into an unknown chapter with many obstacles and are unsure if what you are doing is even helping. But rest assured, you are making a difference. It may not feel like it, you may only have a handful of students working with you even though you continue to reach out to each and everyone of them. You stress that you aren’t doing anything right and see on social media or hear about other teachers doing so much more and feel down that you aren’t doing enough. But just remember, this is not a competition, you don’t have to be the teacher with a thousand likes, you need to be you. You need to be the best version of you for each student you can reach and continue to show your compassion for the students you can’t. Understand that sometimes there are circumstances out of your control and all you can do is your best. It’s a difficult time right now, everyone knows it is truly hard to be away from your students. You miss each and every one of them. Even that one student that you may have (only in your mind) wished was absent for a day so you could get a break. Know that you are doing everything in your power and that is all that matters. Here are some ideas to help you out during this time.
Set a schedule for yourself. I have found for me that setting a schedule has helped me balance my teaching, my business, my wife and three kids. If you don’t have a basic schedule you will feel overwhelmed and have feelings of being all over the place. Your stress level will go up, you will feel like you’re not accomplishing anything. So set time out for each of the things you need to balance and stick to it as best you can. Second, which ties in with the first, find something that you can learn and grow with. Example learning a new language, diving deeper into conversations with loved ones or friends, reading books that inspire you or build on your good habits. Doing this instead of binge watching tv shows will help you grow and feel better about yourself and the things you do. We live in a world where we have taken many things for granted, so learn to build stronger relationships and stay away from the mindless times of social media and tv. Don’t lose focus on one of the most important things we need which is strong relationships with the ones closest to our hearts.
Third, set aside some time for you. Mediate, start a gratitude journal, spend some time under the sun. Doing activities like these will not only take your mind away from the stressors in your life, but it would actually help lower your stress hormone levels and boost your immune system. The more you start doing activities that you enjoy doing the more in-tune you will be with yourself and your body will thank you for it. Lastly, if you already know your teaching assignment for the next school year and/or you know the curriculum that you will be using, try coming up with that project that you always wanted to do with your students, but that you never had the time to do it. Try coming up with different versions/ modifications just in case you have to teach through Distance Learning. Have a virtual conference with your teacher friends and collaborate on projects and future activities.Take it slow and let the creativity flow! Remember you are not alone on this journey but do make sure the focus is on you.