This 2020-2021 school year has certainly gotten off to an interesting start so far. This pandemic has made everything feel so strange and different. No matter how many years of experience you have behind you, virtual teaching has become a learning process for every teacher. I discussed this with a coworker and we both agreed that it certainly feels like we are going through our first year of teaching all over again.
We have to relearn how to teach with new programs like Zoom and Schoology. Many teachers have shared amazing and helpful tips that will make virtual learning easier. One of them that I recently discovered is this video that helps with how to do polls and assessments on Zoom. [Click here for video alt text and transcript!] I have also been looking at cool products that will help like the ring light or a green screen. I personally have bought blue light glasses from Amazon to keep my eyes from straining while I am video conferencing with students.
Though, I feel that there is something more important that every teacher should remember in order to make the school year easier, and that is self-care.
Taking care of my mental health is something that I wish I would have taken more seriously my first year teaching. It is an important piece of advice that I stress to every new teacher. Teaching children is a priority but it is also important to take care of yourself during these stressful times. Especially due to the craziness of this year, I believe that it is important to remember to look out after ourselves. The first important step is to build a routine and do activities that will help you relax like doing Yoga over the weekend or taking a relaxing bath right after work.
Another important part of my self-care routine is to read every evening for an hour. I have been reading some of the classics since this summer like Sense & Sensibility and Jane Eyre. We don’t have to be the perfect teachers for this school year, but we can be the best we can be. Just remember that your health is also as big a priority as the kids.
Diany Mares Lingsch
A bibliophile who tries to read as many books as she is able to. An avid writer who posts her poetry on Instagram. A dog lover who loves drinking coffee. Last but not least, a proud Hispanic who teaches high school English.