Can our home office provide a relaxing white sand beach for us to curl our toes in as we listen to the waves? No, it cannot, yet as teachers, we need to infuse our online classrooms with soothing warm weather to combat the furious storms that are raging in all virtual spaces right now.
We are in unprecedented times as learners and teachers. How do we get our students to care deeply about APA compliance when a pandemic is raging across the nation? As educators, we have long been trained to put our students first, and this time is no different than other times that we’ve felt torn, unsettled, and divided as faculty members. Online school is where we grow and change as thinkers, and I have had the privilege of witnessing it firsthand. We need to keep our cool in online schools so our students can focus on their studies and move forward toward their academic goals.
Providing good, actionable information helps all of us. Make sure to provide your online students resources such as this one from the BBC, full of advice about how to preserve your mental health during a crisis. In a meeting with one of my students this morning, I reminded her that many great works of art were started during times of quarantine. Sharing resources about how other eras and great thinkers like Sir Isaac Newton used times of restricted movement to write and reveal a path forward for all of us as students and educators.
Like air masks on a plane, you need to secure your mask first as the teacher. Give your brain fun tasks like painting or drawing each day. Encourage the people you live with and love to make art, put together puzzles, compose music, or even simply tackle a cleaning task that may have been avoided due to a (until recently) hectic schedule. Small strides forward like a finished poem, a closet organized, or an email written to a faraway friend can give your day benchmarks that also feed your soul. Keeping your cool in online school has never been more difficult, or more essential than today.
You’ve got this, and we are here to help!