Global Pandemic and the Educators

Rekha Chauhan

Daily exposure to news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may result in a range of responses from different people in different ways. The Covid 19 outbreak is stressful for people and Teachers are no different. Reactions can be emotional, somatic, and/or behavioral, and can impact mental and physical health of the young & adults. With the schools and universities closing for safety reasons, students & teachers had to suddenly leave the campus, face unexpected changes in their academic and social life with greater feelings of uncertainty and dissatisfaction due to classes being held online till extended period of time.

The unusual and abrupt changes in life as a result of an epidemic situation, challenges the conceptions of stability, structure, and normalcy as many educators are feeling that they are not able to do justice to education.

No doubt, hands-on learning has taken a hit, however, the advantage we have today, is that through social networks, WhatsApp, Zoom Classes, Microsoft Teams etc educators can still continue. Lot of digitization of stakeholders that were not earlier digitized the question is; Online Classrooms Are A Connect or Disconnect???

Teachers have been concerned about the gaps that will be created as the students will miss on the authentic school experience. The online learning is not active learning and children may experience gaps and regression in their achievement.

Common concerns teachers face during Global Pandemic

  • Doing house hold chores like: cleaning the house, cooking, washing, taking care of elders and children at home and taking live classes with students
  • Attending the calls from anxious students and parents frequently
  • Extended work hours and fear of uncertainty of payouts
  • Challenge is students find this kind of learning new but boring
  • Giving individual feedback remains a challenge
  • No definite workhours, it was better to dress up and leave for work
  • Teaching younger children online bigger challenge

Above mentioned causes and extreme exhaustion could result in

  • Burnout,
  • Stress,
  • Anxiety,
  • Depression in the teachers.

Responding to disasters can be both rewarding and stressful. Knowing that you have stress and coping with it as you respond will help you stay well, and this will allow you to keep helping those who are affected. Therefore, there is a need to acknowledge the effect of the prolonged stress on emotional health of the Teachers and guide them to deal with the same.

BELOW ARE SOME TIPS WHICH CAN HELP YOU KEEP GOING:

  • Connect & Disconnect from the news channels wisely. No need to be overinformed.
  • Make a timetable and keep yourself free from the household work during the online classes and feel as if you are in school
  • Maintain dignity of students and your own while you are online
  • Get ready and often keep your video mode own, it will make you feel good
  • Talk to family, friends, supervisors, and teammates about your feelings and experiences.
  • Practice breathing and relaxation techniques frequently
  • Sleep on time like you did when you used to go to school/ college
  • Eat on time and make sure to take 3 meals a day
  • Exercising/ aerobics & Yoga at home is must
  • It is okay to not answer the calls at odd hours or after school hours
  • Limit intake of tea, caffeine and use of alcohol
  • Stay well connected with your family & friends
  • Enquire students’ wellbeing on regular basis to keep yourself free from worries
  • Make a schedule including your online classes
  • It is important to remind yourself:
    • It is not selfish to take breaks.
    • Your own needs and well-being are equally important
    • Being emotionally strong will ensure best contribution
    • You don’t need to answer all the calls, there are other people who can answer administrative concerns
  • Encourage & empower your students and others to seek help for distress and mental health support without any stigma.
  • Use 5-minute Energisers in the beginning of the online class at least 3 times a week
  • Rejuvenate yourself by:
    • Reading books
    • Watching movies
    • Playing with children & family
    • Listen to music
    • Meditate
  • Smile: It makes you feel confident and relieves anxiety and stress

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