The pandemic clearly shows the severe inequality in our society, especially within the education system. Obviously, schools play many roles outside of academics: for example, providing lunch for those who cannot afford it, and providing a powerful childcare system that enables parents and guardians to work outside the home to keep our economy open.
However, because there are so many educators working remotely, this epidemic also allows teachers to have a glimpse of different types of work and life. As the time to face-to-face with students is reduced, they have more time to reflect and review students’ experiences. Work and plan. The experience of homeschooling highlights the welfare gap faced by the entire teaching profession.
Last spring, when we clearly knew that we were in a pandemic, most schools switched to the “distance learning/distance teaching” model. In general, the teaching methods and students’ learning expectations are the same as before the suspension of classes. However, even for the most skilled, experienced, and technically savvy teachers, teaching on Zoom in this way can be challenging. Zoom fatigue soon appeared. The teachers felt disconnected and alienated from the students. They feel unprepared to work from home, in a position in front of the screen-this is a huge turning point in their active and sporty days in class. Things they could have been more likely to influence in the classroom, such as solving technical problems or solving student happiness issues through smiles and high-fives, become more complicated-if not completely impossible.
It’s not enough: Last spring, the teacher moved the mountain to meet the needs of the students as much as possible. But now is the time to honor teachers with their quality of work and life.
In the organization where I work, Teaching well, We work with the school system to more effectively support, retain and use the talents of educators. To this end, we provide tools for healthy dialogue, emotional regulation, and attention stress recovery through professional learning opportunities for full-time employees and one-on-one tutoring courses with educators (including front desk staff, school leaders, and teachers).
In one-on-one tutoring with the teacher, I witnessed the pain points and gains of home teaching. Some small gains can best reflect the gap in happiness.
A teacher, a single mother of a fourth-grade student, can participate more in her daughter’s education. Because she works just a few feet away, she understands her daughter’s triumphs and struggles better than ever. The two even had lunch together every day.
Another teacher, like many teachers in this industry, has long put the needs of his students above his own health. When working from home, she resurrected her favorite way of taking care of herself before: running. She was suddenly able to do this at noon-when she needed the energy injection that only runners could produce the most-instead of squeezing into the gym or working out early in the morning before teaching. This is possible because the face-to-face time with students has been reduced, from six hours a day to three or four hours.
Working from home caused by the pandemic has provided a level playing field for many knowledge workers. For the first time, teachers have experienced the kind of flexibility their colleagues in the technical and commercial fields have enjoyed for a long time: the flexibility to arrange meetings, the ability to change working hours to meet family or self-needs (think: dental examination, with your child) Meet with your teacher, or send your car for repair).
I used to be a teacher myself, and I married a middle school teacher. During the pandemic, I observed up close how my partner’s teaching direction changed. Before the pandemic, he often stayed at school later than originally scheduled because he wanted to do the “last thing” to support his students or colleagues. Working on the kitchen table forced him to draw a line between work and home life, because there was no place to eat dinner before he put away his workstation. This small necessity allows him to make other lifestyle choices to support his efficiency as a teacher-such as reducing caffeine intake to support practical rest throughout the day, and incorporating daily exercise into his daily routine. These gains improved his happiness and also translated into the success of his students, because the more resources the teacher has, the better he or she can stay coordinated and present. This is arguably the most important teaching skill-in the Zoom classroom or physical classroom.
Perhaps there is no better evidence than the interaction I overheard in our small house on the last day of class that my partner’s small shifts had a big impact on his efficiency. He is saying goodbye to a seventh-grade student who has worked with him for a whole year, and the reluctant reader is “behind” many grades in reading. This student has been reluctant to come to class, even less willing to participate in front of classmates. Because my partner has less time to teach all students at once, he has more time to provide students with additional 1:1 support, which in turn increases the willingness of students to participate. The student may not turn on his camera for a whole year, but his reading level has improved by several grades. On the last day my partner congratulated him, the student said: “I want to take your class again next year.” Be my partner When he told him he didn’t need this course next year, the boy said, “Well, I hope I can come to see you then and say hello.”
Before the pandemic, this success was only possible if my partner was willing to meet with students after get off work, thereby delaying the time spent with family and children.
During the pandemic, our work at The Teaching Well has increased because in the face of a deadly virus, we cannot ignore happiness. A teacher who can use the bathroom as needed, he can take a nap at noon, take sick leave when they start to feel tired, and have more time for planning and reflection. A teacher who faces so much sadness in the world, the teacher can be more Pay attention to your emotional activation.
This becomes even more important for teachers working in high trauma communities, like the three I mentioned here. A teacher who is taken care of can become the groundedness that students need, and this groundedness is the foundation of learning.
I hope that teachers can integrate some of the useful things in online teaching into their school life. This may mean actually sitting down for lunch or closing your eyes for 15 minutes between the end of school and all after-school tasks that require the teacher’s attention.
After all, our teachers did so much for us last year, and now we have no time to care about them by changing the expectations of how and when their work must be completed. There is no doubt that students will benefit from it.