Right now the internet is awash with tips for what you should do to be productive while working from home. Not since the pay negotiations of early 2019 have teachers been bombarded with so much unsolicited advice about how to do their jobs. Let’s take this opportunity to turn off all of that noise and concentrate on what actually works best for YOU!
Most of the advice about how to work from home implies that there is some sort of secret formula that we should all be using. Come on! You know enough about learning styles to understand that that’s absolute rubbish and surely, you also know that your effective work habits for teaching at home and teaching at school are not going to be vastly different from each other. You already know what works for you - don’t throw that all out the window because someone on the internet said that you should wear heels around your house and clear out your garage to make a temporary office.
My advice; whatever works for you at school, stick with that as much as possible.
Need a bit of background noise?
I find that the soothing sounds of Alien Weaponry really transport me back to the tranquility of the classroom.
Click this pic to see what I mean:
Need some structure in your day?
Go ahead and make a bunch of alarms on your phone. Be sure to schedule in toilet breaks and snack times. This is very helpful if your bladder needs a loud ringing noise in order to know that it’s showtime.
Work best when you’re under a bit of pressure?
Easy - make a rule that you’re not allowed near the wine until your work is done. If you’re naturally a bit of a rule breaker, it’s helpful to ask your isolation buddy to confiscate it. Be careful who you choose for this job because chances are, you WILL end up hating them.
Missing your students?
Isn’t it funny how a few weeks ago everyone was desperately wanting the government to bring the holidays forward and now those same people are the ones pining over their distant students.
The kids are safe at home, you’re safe at home. It’s a good thing and it’s O.K to be happy about that.
If that doesn’t convince you, just take a minute to appreciate the age of accessibility that we’re living in. Letters, phone calls, emails, social media … it’s never been easier for students and parents to contact you all hours of the day and night. All of that works both ways so it’s a great time to get creative with your communication and keep those relationships strong.
Need a dedicated space?
Desks are so last year!
You want to work on the couch? Do it. You reckon you’d be quite productive in the spa? Give it a go (and while you’re at it take a moment to appreciate the genius who first decided that mobile phones should be waterproof). You want to sit in your driveway so you can wave to passers by? Fill your boots!
Working in a classroom means that you’re moving up and down & all around all day long. Don’t plonk yourself at your kitchen table and expect to be your dynamic self for 2 hours straight if that’s not what you’re used to.
Seriously though, give yourself a break! Remote teaching is all new to 99% of us and like everything, it’s going to take a while until it feels like you’re doing anything worthwhile. Try all sorts of things, if something doesn’t work, drop it and try something else. There’s no one-size-fits-all way to do this so take the time to figure out what fits you best. Hopefully by the time you’ve got it nailed, we’ll all be allowed out of our houses again and can go back to school.
Be safe out there xoxo