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Between an unprecedented pandemic and the election — mixed in with all of the usual stressors of everyday life — 2020 has made an unforgettable imprint on the world. Teachers, students, and parents are feeling the brunt of it; distance and blended learning has transformed the modern classroom and traditional way of teaching. Using data collected from 13,000 public school districts, Education Week tracked first-day instructional plans between July and September to find that 74% of the largest school districts decided to stick with remote learning. About 27% of the school districts introduced a hybrid blended learning option, and only 24% decided to go back to full-time in-person teaching and learning.
While educational plans seem to be changing on a regular basis, there’s one thing that’s constant: high-stress levels. In fact, burnout among faculty members is increasing and now stress is considered chronic, according to a Course Hero survey of almost 600 educators among national four-year colleges and universities.
Mental health shouldn’t fall by the wayside during these strange times — it should be a top priority. Here’s how educators can take care of themselves:
Follow a self-care routine
Develop a regular, everyday routine involving agenda items that can help you wind down and feel better about yourself. Tasks as simple as getting enough sleep every night, as well as making time to step outside for fresh air or cleaning up your work area, are a few of the many ways you can practice self-care.
Schedule time for what makes you happy
Beyond a care routine, making time for the hobbies and activities that put a smile on your face is very important. Even with restrictions and social distancing guidelines in place, you can still find ways to connect with your friends and family members. A weekly video chat with your loved ones is one way to stay in touch and help pass the time. Picking up a new or familiar hobby, such as playing an instrument, writing down your thoughts or crafting, can also lift your spirits during these stressful times.
Set boundaries and maintain them
As a teacher during the pandemic, you know there are many things that are out of your control. One thing that is in your hands is your set work schedule. As Understood for All Inc. described, working from home can make it difficult to justify when the workday begins and when it ends. Don’t let the idea of working from home distract you from setting your working hours and following them just as if you were in the classroom. And always remember to take a lunch break, even if it means turning off your devices to get that full, undistracted time away from your work.
Share moments of joy with students
It’s important to stay on task and follow your curriculum, but you and your students are only human. Set aside time every week to highlight moments of gratitude with the kids as a way to wind down and remind them that there’s a silver lining to everything that’s going on. Use moments of joy as an opportunity to connect with students on a higher level.
Take advantage of our blended learning tools
At TCI, we understand that while times can be tough for teachers and students, there’s an opportunity to branch out and try new learning methods. Our blended learning features can take the stress out of transitioning kids from in-person classes to online learning while keeping students engaged and excited to learn. Connect with us today to learn more.