By now, we’ve all become accustomed to Zooms and teleconferencing into our jobs, but few professionals have as many challenges working from home as part-time teachers, home teachers and early education teachers. Below are four tips to help educators master work from home.
Make sure your work environment is working for you
Making a few changes to your workspace can save you mental and physical stress. If you can, have the workspace be completely separate from your other living spaces. Numerous studies have shown that separate work environments help us destress once the workday is done.
If you don’t have the space for a separate work area, try investing in a proper chair and learning the best way to sit in it. Investing in a healthy, ergonomic workstation can save you the aches and pains. Take a look at these tips from the Mayo Clinic for the best ways to set up your workstation.
Put your kids to “work” while you work
Early education teachers and part-time teachers are running up against the dual responsibility of taking care of their students and their children at the same time. With a few simple activities, you can make it a little more manageable for yourself.
Consider using some focused screen time for when you need undisturbed concentration. Let your kids know that they need to finish their program before interrupting you.
Other great ideas are word searches, coloring books and simple crafts projects (without glitter unless you want to be vacuuming til dawn!) Our favorite of course is enlisting your kid’s help with chores around the house. If framed the right away, chores can be super fun for kids. Plus, it helps check off a few things on your to-do list!
Create a neighborhood “watch” pod
If you have a pod of families set up in your neighborhood or with close friends, enlist them to help! Create a schedule where each family has a set day that they are responsible for watching all the kids. Depending on how many families you have in your pod, this can give you multiple uninterrupted days in your work week to teach, organize lessons and participate in school meetings.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself
The daily stress of teaching can take a toll even in the best of circumstances, but even more so when teaching remotely. Taking care of yourself is essential to giving your students the best education possible, and it doesn’t have to be hard.
Consider taking those few minutes between classes to close your eyes and breathe. A simple, effective breathing exercise is called square breathing: inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, and then hold again for four seconds. You can even begin classes this way with your students to foster an environment of concentration! This video provides a great screen-sharing resource to introduce square breathing to your students.
Another way to relax is by doing simple stretches throughout the day. You don’t have to be a yoga pro – stretch just like you would first thing in the morning after waking, easily and wherever you feel you need it.
If you’re not the meditative or yoga type, give yourself something small to look forward to at the end of the day. Maybe it’s a small piece of chocolate or even just a hot shower. Whatever it is, make sure it genuinely gives you pleasure and is easily doable.