2. Join communities:
Alongside the new materials, there is much more online support available for teachers than in March last year. while TeachersConnect and Teaglo are spaces just for teachers!
3. Do what works for you:
One of the downsides of extensive online material is that you might feel you need to follow exactly what other people are doing – whether that be producing high quality recorded materials or doing a lot of live lessons. As with students, some teachers will be better at some things than others, so make sure that you focus on your strengths. Our guide to blended learning takes you through the essentials, while this article is a good reminder that there is no ‘best’ way of remote teaching. And there’s no need for materials to be perfect either – think of the number of times you make small mistakes when teaching in person!
4. Take small steps to improve your technology and working environment
During the first lockdown teachers became experts at coping with the technology and working spaces they had. But as time goes on, the importance of improving this has increased. Of course, a hi-tech home office can be very expensive but there are some small changes that can be made. This article is a good place to start – but remember that you might also be able to borrow a second monitor or a better microphone from your school or others in your local community.
5. Take time for your own development
As well as more material for teaching and learning, teacher training and development has also moved online, and there are ways to both learn about new technology such as Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom as well as wider pedagogy. For example, you can explore the latest Teams tool (‘breakout rooms) here or explore Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction with expert guide Tom Sherrington here. For those teaching in school, our Lessonvu system will help kick-start self-reflection and help you share your lessons to help other or ask for help.
6. Keep finding time for yourself and your team
Teaching can be quite an isolated job even when everyone is at school – with teachers spending much more time with students than colleagues. But when you’re working from home (or managing blended learning between home and school) there is even less chance to catch up with colleagues and the pressure of planning and managing online lessons.
It’s therefore vital to work with your colleagues and line manager to establish a routine that means you have the chance to take time out for personal needs (family, exercise, hobbies) and for your team to work together, whether that’s discussing online teaching, student needs, or just catching up over a ‘virtual’ cup of tea!
7. Ask for help
Finally, even if you coped well with the first lockdown, stress can hit at different times, as this article demonstrates. Make sure that you tell your school and line manager about any issues you are facing, and (in the UK) contact Education Support if you need any further help.