“Teaching is one of the noblest professions” — and this rings true more than ever, especially at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether teachers are doing their lessons virtually or face-to-face in some areas, these have proved challenging and overwhelming for most of them.
While it has been already challenging to carry on with teaching under the ever changing pandemic situation, it is also evident that online classes can present some real difficulties. Distracted students, unstable internet connection, and other various limitations are the issues that teachers have to overcome with virtual learning.
In countries where the COVID-19 restrictions have eased, the challenges come in the form of still being able to protect oneself and protecting students. There have been cases where a lack of strict compliance to safety and health protocols have put teachers and students at risk.
These real risks have added to the stress and anxiety that teachers face today. Thus, it is of primary importance for teachers to take care of themselves physically, as well as mentally. Educators exert much effort and expend more energy, and they have to sustain it so they can give it out more and become more effective teachers.
There are five mental health tips for teachers which may be of help during this pandemic:
Rest and recharge
Enough sleep and relaxation is essential to practicing a sustainable work-life balance. It is critical for one to unwind to clear the mind of its clutter and worries. Connecting with a friend, going for a jog or a walk, spending time with the kids, reading a favourite book, watching a film – these not only help the mind but also help in recharging one’s spirit.
Plan well to avoid worries
Worries usually happen when one is uncertain of what to face. But if one plans well, he or she may be able to take more control of the situation. Making a to-do list will help in identifying the key tasks to be done. Preparing well for lessons and for possible mishaps will ensure smoother class dynamics. It has been proven by many that planning well will help reduce the unnecessary stress.
Consistently adhere to health and safety protocols
To ease further worries about contracting the virus, especially if classes are already being done face-to-face, it is recommended to get fully vaccinated. Vaccination will prevent severe symptoms and death. Still follow all health and safety protocols, such as wearing masks and constant sanitising of hands.
Welcome the ‘new normal’
Accepting the current situation will make things much easier to do. Adjusting to any changes will always make the change occur more easily rather than fighting against or rejecting them. Find the best and creative ways on how to do things differently during this new normal environment. Furthermore, learn how the advanced technology in teaching fully works, in order to take more advantage of it.
Seek professional help if need be
As in physical health, if we feel we need to see a physician to assess us, it would also be wise to do the same for our mental health. If feelings of gloom or sadness have been lingering more than usual, or if it has taken most of our joy, then it may be time to seek professional help. Nowadays, a lot more people are open to consulting with mental health professionals, and their help have proven valuable especially in these unsettling times.
Carrie Benedet coaches educators on how to be more effective amidst the pandemic. You may send her a message today.