January 11, 2021

Taking care of yourself to help your students

Source: Shared Success
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  • For additional resources and video from our ELT webinars on blended and hybrid remote learning, visit www.nysut.org/hybrid.

Kathleen Young
National Board Certified physical education teacher
Newburgh Enlarged City School District

A veteran teacher of more than 30 years, Kathleen Young said it is critical to make sure you are taking care of yourself during this unprecedented and stressful time. That includes not being hard on yourself, she said.

“Taking care of yourself during this time will help you and your students.”

Effective Strategies

  • Keep it simple — Having success with small doable tasks will build confidence.
  • Share ideas with colleagues — There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If a colleague has a successful lesson plan, use it and give them something in return.
  • Reflection — Consider what worked and what didn’t. Keep what worked, tweak what didn’t. And get real feedback from your students. It’s hard to judge reactions on a screen.
  • Be forgiving — Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t be hard on your students. “We are all new at this, every single one of us.”
  • Celebrate success — Celebrating your success will breed positivity and confidence. Small successes are huge.

Take Care of You

  • Turn off emails at the end of the day
  • Move away from the laptop and phone
  • Set alarms for start and end times
  • Be Patient with your students and yourself
  • Set reasonable goals
  • Forgive yourself
  • Enjoy your free time.

Young adds: Set time to check your emails and messages. Don’t constantly be on call. If you are going to be working at 10 p.m. then you are eventually going to be expected to work at 10 p.m. Go for walks. Talk to your spouse. Have conversations. Read a book. Go and do normal things.

How to Ensure Accountability

Young recommends posting videos that explain lessons, and what the expectations are for students. She also has a video posted that shows parents how to navigate her online classroom. Young said doing so makes it easier for parents to understand what’s going on in her classroom and how they can help their child succeed.

About the Webinars

One of the many challenges facing educators over the past year has been how to adjust instruction for first completely remote and then for hybrid learning environments. The reality is that nobody was an expert at this before the pandemic. It forced teachers to radically rethink how to approach teaching and how to promote effective learning environments, no matter how their students are learning. We conducted a series of webinars for NYSUT members featuring some of our instructors from NYSUT Education and Learning Trust. We asked them how they are balancing it all and what tips and tools they have learned and implemented to help them make the most of hybrid learning. In this series, we break down their top tips for you.

For additional resources and video on blended and hybrid remote learning, visit www.nysut.org/hybrid.

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