Posted: Thu, 09/10/2020 - 08:48
I just read this article called "How to Make Teaching Online Feel Less Isolating", and one sentence really stuck out to me, "At minimum, teachers are grieving the loss of familiar routines."
When I switched to teaching homeschoolers online there were a lot of perks: I had gifted, attentive students. I had total autonomy in learning management system, curriculum, daily plans, etc. I got to go to work in my PJs. I had a flexible schedule. I got to stay home with my newborn AND teach part time.
Even with those perks (which I know aren't common even for online teachers), I still missed school. I didn't miss the extra paperwork. I didn't miss students stealing my writing utensils. I didn't miss all the extra germs. But I missed the routines. And I missed the in-person relationships: the casual hallway banter, the teacher lounge venting, the eye rolling at trendy school board directives, the inside jokes with students, and more. Online interaction is great for intentional communication, but I missed all those unintentional still-appreciated connections.
Even now, a few years into teaching online, when Covid-19 swept through my area in New Jersey and everything was shut down, I again had to grieve. I lost casual connections with humanity at the grocery stores, parks, etc. And again, I was grieving the loss of routine. My routine was already to be an online teacher, but now it was changed again as my 3 year old daughter and husband were suddenly home all day with me, as we had to mask-up before picking up groceries and learned to wave from a distance rather than hugging and chit-chatting with neighbors.
I don't want to settle into a "new normal". I hate that term. I want things back to the way they were pre-covid-19. But we work through grief to find acceptance. And I think this article did have some good steps for feeling more ok at home.
Are you grieving the changes to your routine? To your classroom? To your community?
Here's the article on Edutopia: https://www.edutopia.org/article/how-make-teaching-online-feel-less-isolating?MvBriefArticleId=47202