​Lessons from students and teachers from almost a year of online learning

October 2020 (1)

Teaching is not the easiest profession to perform from home, and, being a student without the school environment can be extremely challenging. Many of our colleagues have played the role of teacher during this year and can see the way their kids (and themselves!) have had to adapt to new ways of being. Whilst it's easy to call it crazy, we can also take away some lessons!

Everyone has the ability to be adaptive

If this year has taught us anything it’s that pretty much all of us can adapt and face change in ways we never thought we’d need to. Despite it being difficult and everyone facing their own unique challenges, efforts have been made all round to try and get into a ‘new’ routine.

The ’rules’ can change and grow to better serve the circumstances

Using schooling as an example, curriculum's and class plans may have need to change on a whim or during certain times, depending on the circumstance that the teachers and students are in. For one instance, the enthusiasm at the beginning of a semester is absolutely different to the end of a semester after learning and teaching in lock down for weeks on end. This means that changing and bending what is typically done or planned to suit the moods, energy and morale of the people around us can be ultimately beneficial for overall well-being and therefore productivity.

It’s important to be innovative in our approach

On that note, we have to continuously think of new ways to engage people. Like teachers have to think of new way to engage students who are tired of being stuck indoors and who can’t see their friends. Students are not used to sitting at a computer screen for most of their day. This learning environment is alien, so to make sure they are engaging, teachers have had to think of new ways to do things that keep students inspired for the future. We could argue, the same should go in professional workplaces where leaders should think of interesting and new ways to engage employees.

Be reflective about your practices

A teacher we know told us the value in being reflective, and to especially consider and compare previous practices and experiences. This time in our lives has been a great learning curve so perhaps some things may have worked, and some may have not. Critical reflection can have a large impact on our personal development and improvement and can therefore go on to serve others better.

Resilience and self-care go hand in hand

Resilience is a big theme during the pandemic. But without a little self-care, trying to maintain resilience can easily lead to burn-out. Resilience requires strength and flexibility (adaption, as previously mentioned). Whilst we are all living by rules that change from month to month it can be quite difficult to constantly keep a brave face and go with the changes as they arise, constantly dealing with the unknown. So, with that said, it’s highly valuable that we are taking time out from our days and our workloads to take care of ourselves in any way that brings joy. With little control over our current circumstances, we can still nourish our bodies and minds, exercise, cook, read, chat with friends and family, sit in the sun, watch a movie… the list goes on. Without finding time for yourself and your loved ones, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out.

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