COVID-19 has changed the world forever. Everything that we thought we could never do, we have learnt to. From being packed inside our homes to finding
COVID-19 has changed the world forever. Everything that we thought we could never do, we have learnt to. From being packed inside our homes to finding new ways to grow, people everywhere have started looking to the internet for solutions.
Whether you want to learn a skill, a new language, a new recipe or join a new internet trend, it’s all there at the click of a button. All businesses and firms have been putting in their best to shift to digital media and deliver to the unending asks. But there is one industry that has been suddenly jolted into transformation more than the others. One field that never even stopped for a break.
It is teaching.
Schools, colleges and universities never stopped. They just moved to Zoom / Google Meet / WebEx / etc., within a couple of days of lockdown. While this was done to ensure continuity for students, it has taken a major toll on teachers. Teachers are working round the clock to ensure their classes are engaging, the right material is being taught and sent, testing methodology is transparent – all while they adapt to online teaching!
How have they been doing it?
Is Online teaching better for students?
And what about the teachers?
Does teaching from home have downsides?
What are they?
We’re going to look into all that and more. Stay with us.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you would know that the internet is a whole world in itself. You can learn anything at all if you find the time and motivation to. With the pandemic allowing us to harness its potential to the fullest, teachers have found many ways to educate their students. Let’s go over some of the successful methods that have emerged.
1. Clarity and Planning
It has been rightly said ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. Online teaching requires detailed planning as the sole attention throughout the class duration is on the teacher. The number of distractions in an online classroom are much lesser as compared to a school. This has made it imperative for teachers to plan the lesson, activities and interaction completely and clearly.
2. Fun-filled Learning Approach
Technology has made online teaching much more engaging and fun. From games to quiz platforms, teachers have a plethora of options to engage with their students. Platforms like Kahoot!, Quizziz, etc., are gaining popularity amongst teachers and students. A fun-filled learning environment makes grasping easier and creates better recall.
3. Interaction is the Key
The best way to create an ecosystem of learning is interaction. Online learning can be very isolating so whether it is teachers interacting with students or students interacting with each other, interaction can make the online experience much more enjoyable.
4. Take Home Assignments
Another reason online teaching can be tough is that classroom discussions are cut down due to network strength, time constraints, no breaks, etc. Take-home assignments that are practical and fun can drive home the subject matter in an effective way.
With techniques like these, online classes can actually be very beneficial to the teachers. There are multiple pros of it that must be discussed and acknowledged.
BENEFITS OF TEACHING FROM HOME
1. Flexibility of Time and Location
Ofcourse, this is the most important benefit for any teacher. You could be sitting in Hawaii by the beach in the evening and taking a class from your room in the morning. How does it get any better? Online teaching allows you to be anywhere physically as well as schedule classes according to your flexibility.
2. Encourages Creativity
With the internet at your fingertips and not as many restrictions, it allows teachers to explore their potential and innovate in how they impart the knowledge. Videos, games, blogs, animation, and so many more routes are being used.
3. Expansion of Knowledge
If you were to teach at a school, college or university, commute takes up a lot of time. However, with online teaching, you can freelance and work with multiple organisations. Not only does this contribute to your growth, it also helps financially.
4. Better Assessment Options
Online tools really ease the pain of correcting hundreds of papers. As new and improved assessment tools come into being, students can write their exams and tests online and technology can assess their learning, create reports and play the role of an assistant to the teacher.
5. One-on-one Engagement
In a classroom setting, it becomes very difficult to engage with every student but online teaching makes room for better one-on-one engagement. Teachers can now ask questions, answer doubts and create a personal bond with each student.
However, like everything else, there are downsides to online teaching too. Bringing office home means the line between personal and professional life starts blurring. It has had serious consequences on their personal lives with sleep deprivation, lack of work-life balance, no down-time, etc., surfacing as real issues in teachers’ lives.
So how do we bring back the balance?
How can life be easier for teachers working from home?
We have a few tried and tested ways that have worked for those who have implemented them. If you are a teacher or know one facing work-life imbalance, try out the following methods.
1. Acknowledge the Situation and be Compassionate Towards Yourself
Times are changing and they are tough, so don’t be unreasonable. Making a to-do list with unending tasks is torture, for yourself. With COVID-19, most of us are juggling a lot with work and we must be compassionate towards ourselves. Acknowledging this stress will help you deal with it better. Have a plan and be prepared to make changes to it as the day progresses.
One of the biggest problems of online teaching is that it makes you immobile. The laptop becomes an extension of your body and you are attached to your chair. This makes the body stiff and increases the chances of more pains and aches. Remember to get up and move between classes, do some stretches, walk around the house, drink some water, breathe fresh air and look away from the screen for a few minutes.
3. Have a Work Space
Making your bed your work-station is the worst idea ever! Dedicate a comfortable (but not too comfortable!) location of your house to your work. Keep that place the way you would keep your office desk and it will prepare your mind and body for work. Changing locations all the time makes it difficult for your family members too. Having a work space will give out a message loud and clear that you cannot be disturbed.
4. Divide Work Time to be More Productive
The Pomodoro method of working has proved to be very effective for most people. Work for 25 minutes undistracted and then take a short 5 minute break. Doing this repetitively improves productivity and output. After three cycles, you can also take a longer 30 minute break to give your mind a rest. Dividing the work time will stop your from procrastinating.
5. Exercise and Nutrition
This is one of the underestimated hacks to a successful work-day. It is easier to sleep in late, munch on junk unnecessarily and skip exercise when working from home. Setting a routine that includes exercise atleast five times a week and a regular nutrition pattern will keep your energy levels high and mood positive.
6. Set Aside Me-Time / Down-Time
This is critical and imperative for your well-being. It is not necessary to be available 24X7. Set aside some down-time that will allow you to have meaningful conversations, pursue a hobby, rest, go for a run, read or take up any activity that is not related to work. Thinking about work is also work. It is important to switch off from work for a bit everyday.
Although the pandemic has tossed us into the unknown, it is possible to find your balance while making the most of what you have. Teaching can be tiring so it is important to make small lifestyle changes that can ease it for you.
What are some other life-hacks that have worked for you as a teacher? Tell us in the comments below.