Educators: Preventing Burnout During School Closure
Today marked the first day of remote learning for all NYC public school students. For many students and teachers alike, this is a whole new platform and the learning curve is huge. Teachers are now faced with the transition from teaching in a school building to teaching online. Adopting new technololgy for certain teachers can be daunting and given the current climate we are living in, many teachers will face a different type of burnout by way of facilitating (or at least trying to) online learning.
At my school, prior to the building being closed, teachers spent 3 days learning online schooling software. Many of them had a hard time navigating the system, a number of them did understand but expressed doubt as to whether or not our students would be able to grasp many of the concepts without hands on teacher guidance; this alone can stress out any teacher who actually gives a damn about the work and students they service.
So, how can we as educators avoid remote burnout?
-First and foremost, SELF-CARE!!! you come first no matter what; pace yourself and try your best to not self-impose unnecessary stressors.
-Structure. Set up a schedule for yourself; set specific times for tasks that you will need to do during the day (checking emails, monitoring student progress, grades) Structure keeps you on task.
-Take breaks in between computer work; no one should be sitting in a chair in front of a computer screen for hours and not take a moment for some self-care; move around the room, get a cup of coffee or tea, something that can be a temporary respite from screen time.
-Connect with your students. Checking in on your students not only assures them that you care, it reaffirms why you got into this profession in the first place. The impact of a student hearing his or her teacher's voice is powerful and gives them a reason to keep up the work.
-Call your fellow teacher/s to discuss challenges, strategies, best practices. Sometimes linking up with your peers helps alleviate any anxiety or stress related to the work.
-Open a window to let sun and air come in, going out these days can be difficult, not many people respect social distancing, remaining indoors is the realistic option as it relates to safety. An open window that forges the sun and fresh air, will make you feel less isolative.
-Take a day off from online teaching to recharge, rejuvinate.
-In alignment with self-care, try your best to eat healthy and sleep well; lacking in either one of these feeds burnout.
Working as a Community School Director I see daily what my teachers go through; this is not an easy job by any means; it is the type of work that leads to significant impact on our students-taking care of yourselves equates to taking care of your students.
"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today"