Feeling overwhelmed or anxious about your upcoming remote teacher role? I remember when I landed my first remote teaching role- I was trawling the internet for any research, article or idea for how to best prepare and what to expect! If you are like me, these ideas might help you feel more informed and prepared for your role.
- Consider what it actually is that is causing your anxiety and reflect if there are any steps you could take to elevate these? Worried you won’t know anyone there- ask if you can meet up with any of the experienced community teachers that live close/ish to you or connect online. Worried that you don’t know what to teach- ask admin for the Scope and Sequence documents or previous unit plans or handover documents, or connect with other remote teachers who might be teaching a similar level to you over on ‘Teachers in Remote Communities (Past, Present, Future)’. Worried that you won’t understand the cultural background of your students- do some cultural awareness training. Worried about the move- make a list of the things you need to do to move (ie. book tickets, pack boxes etc).
- Develop some positive wellbeing strategies to relax. This might be creating a morning ritual of waking up 20 minutes earlier so you can fit in tea and your favourite music in your garden, or an afternoon nap or walk, maybe it is learning yoga or scheduling chats with friends.
- See your health care specialist and seek support. They may be able to continue to support you via online or phone appointments as you work through your home sickness, feelings of culture shock and more. We recommend Smile Teachers for holiday retreats and A Counselled Life for counselling.
- Think about the things you can control and those you can not. Don’t get hung up on feeling worried about things out of your control such as when your uplift will arrive, what your class will be like, if you will make friends, concerns about the weather. The things you can control are all you should be focusing on- I like to write them in my diary and only actually attack the ones that need to be worked on each day so that I don’t feel overwhelmed by too many things to do.
- Make a list of things you are looking forward to! Help you focus on the positive things!
Our blog post Suggested Reading for New Teachers in Remote Communities has a great list of readings to help you feel more confident as you go into your remote teaching role. Maybe choosing a few of these to read around the pool this holidays might help you feel less anxious… while you try to relax!
- Watch some Indigenous Hip Hop Project videos from around your area to give you an idea of the types of issues youth in your community might be effected by, the type of landscape and culture your students might have.
- Consider joining The Remote Teacher Learning Hub Membership– over on the exclusive The Remote Teacher Members Mastermind we regularly post interesting videos about remote teaching.
Sometimes anxiety is around feeling unprepared!
- We recommend planning a detailed 2 week plan that includes lots of expectation establishment activities, getting to know you games, team building and classbuilding activities as well as subject basics and revision. That way you will get to know the unique needs of your class before you plan out your whole unit in detail- time that might be wasted if it wasn’t going to meet the diverse learning abilities, needs and levels of your actual students. You might like to generally plan your units according to the school’s Scope and Sequence or curriculum documents for clarity but be flexible to change.
- You might like to get your classroom displays and resources ready to help you feel more prepared and less anxious. We recommend asking about what your classroom is like, the resources you have and the class budget. This will give you a great idea of what you might need. Your preparation might involve some Op Shop or Kmart visits or seeking community donations. You might also print, cut and laminate your class displays- there are some great ready made displays on Teachers Pay Teacher or on something like Twinkl.
- Consider taking some of our online courses to help you feel more prepared and less anxious! ‘Transform your teaching in the remote context’ is our most comprehensive course and Crash Course: Behaviour Management is also popular but we have a range of others that might be just what you need!
- Kagan Collaborative Learning
- Team Teach
- Berry Street Model
- Trauma Informed Teaching
- Stronger Smarter
- We-Al Li Trauma Informed Practice
- Classroom Management Strategies
What do you think? Did we cover everything? What other strategies do you have for overcoming anxiety about the move to a remote teaching role?