Reimagining Remote Teaching Volume 15
Can you believe we actually made it? We officially survived 16 weeks – and while there might have been moments with more than one eye twitching, too much caffeine, and frazzled hair, we still made it. Our shoulders are a little less tense. We aren’t staring at computer screens as long as we have been, and we do not have to build anymore in Bb for tomorrow’s class!
Now, it is time to use the next 2.5 weeks to decompress. Here are a few tips and tricks to make the most of our Institutional Close and recharge for Spring 2021!
- Do your Homework Early! I know this is going to sound crazy, but take at least a few hours before Christmas Eve to get a jump start on Spring 2021. Schedule at least 2 hours to do some preliminary planning. Remember, we only have 5 short days – which will be filled with last-minute student advising – before classes begin on January 11th. If you do not spend some time thinking about your work early, it will hang over you the entire break like an invisible weight. So, figure out your course calendar. Maybe week 1 and Week 2 of your classes. This will allow you to know you’re going to come back to work with something already accomplished. More importantly, the feeling of being overwhelmed all break of knowing “what’s coming” will be diminished. Simply put, procrastination is NOT your friend right now. For those who do plan on working some, here are important dates for the 16-week session. It begins January 11th and closes on May 9th. There are no classes on January 18, February 15, March 8 – 14 and April 2 – 4.
- Be Present! No, I am not talking about the pretty bows and wrapped boxes under a tree. I am talking about letting go from work the moment you have done some pre-planning until the moment we come back. Enjoy time with your loved ones, schedule zoom conversations or phone calls with absent friends and family and make it a point to be in the moment as much as you can.
- Sleep. Sleep. And sleep some more. Give yourself permission to take a guilt-free nap if you want one. Allow yourself to sleep in. Allow your body to heal some while your mind and spirit also recharge after we ran the Flying Pig at Usain Bolt’s sprinter’s pace.
- Do something that makes you happy. Tinker with your car, make a new musical play list, knit, paint, write, drown a few worms at the local fishing spot, enjoy a delicious meal, or binge watch Netflix. I do not care what it is that makes you happy – but make sure you spend at least 5 hours doing it during break. Give yourself permission for some ME time.
- Get outside! Bundle up, light a fire in the firepit, and sit outside in the crisp air and make S’mores. Or make eggs on the open fire, or hotdogs, or popcorn, or hobo meals, or something even more fun. Consider moving a TV outside to watch a movie with the family. Whatever you do, just make sure you take the time to breath and enjoy the night and the peace which overcomes you when looking at the flames of a good fire.
- Community Service! Buy Thank You cards or Have a Nice Day cards and write kind messages in them, then stop by a nursing home, fire department, or police station to drop them off. This will put a smile on their faces, especially during this crazy time.
- Crafting for our Elders! Consider making a spring craft in bulk, something small, to take to a local assisted living facility for the residents. Most places have between 60 – 120 beds, so plan to make several to share and help brighten their days!
Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you do it for YOU. Make sure you take the time to enjoy yourself so your brain can recharge and your body can rest. If all else fails, you can fantasize about two months in a mountain cabin to ease your mind. The Grizzly Adams beard is pretty trendy these days.
Best wishes to each of you as we usher in 2021!