Feet Up Friday: My Distance Learning Routine

As teachers, we understand the substantial impact of setting a routine and our current circumstances are really forcing us to practice what we preach. Rhode Island will be Distance Learning throughout the month of April and we are swimming the hardest we can in uncharted waters.

I read something the other day that spoke to the fact that comparison is the enemy right now. Comparing yourself to what you used to be able to do. Comparing yourself to what you see others doing now. If you are doing your best, you are doing exactly what you need to. You should be proud of that.

It took me a bit of time (see: two weeks) to adjust to this Distance Learning situation, but I’ve finally got myself into a bit of a rhythm. It was more out of necessity than convenience, but all the same, it is helping. Going through the same motions everyday, knowing exactly what to expect, is helping.

If you were curious as to what a teacher’s daily routine looks like during the era of Distance Learning, read on.

6am. Ryan normally wakes up early and, in turn, wakes me up as well. I do, however, really like getting up without an alarm going off. I’ll try my hardest to be downstairs by 6:30 and by then, coffee is ready. While drinking my first cup I’ll log into my computer, publish the day’s attendance form on Google Classroom, and post a morning message to my students. Then I let myself enjoy the morning- reading the news, checking Instagram, straightening up the house, and making breakfast.

8am. I don’t have my first office hour/instructional period until 9am, so I’ll spend the hour before outside. I like to get in some time in the garden or the yard cleaning things up or a quick walk near the house. Sometimes I’ll go for a run if I’m feeling particularly energetic. Sometimes I’ll film an IGTV Nature Walk or Experiment for my students.

9am. Office hours/instructional periods mean answering lots of emails, sending multiple Google Chats, and really just checking in. I’ll record grades, provide feedback, and assess how my students did the day before. Most days, I’ll be checking in with my team on our group chat. We laugh about how this is day (insert number here) that we’re wearing sweatpants.

10am. Again, I give myself another break in the morning to get things done around the house. Normally, I’m still responding to emails and texts at this time, but I’m not necessarily sitting right at my computer. The amount of screen time I get in a day cannot be healthy, so I try my best to limit it. However, I can’t forget to submit attendance at 10:45!

11am. Office hours/instructional periods again. Same deal as before- student/parents and teacher communication mostly. If I need to prep something for the next day or week, I start creating documents, filming screencasts, etc.

12pm. LUNCH, woohoo. Honestly, one of my favorite things about Distance Learning is being able to make lunch at home. I’m not a traditional lunch food person so being able to cook in my kitchen is a huge benefit.

12:30pm. Office hours/instructional periods, for the last time today. Most of the time I will schedule a Google Meet with one of my groups during this time, but I find it difficult to chat with a group of more than four students… (I’m working on it)

1:30pm. Planning time for the following day/week. Final check ins with my team to make sure we are all on track and nothing extra needs to get done today. Sometimes this time is broken up with department meetings. The final push to get through the online school day.

2:30pm. FREEDOM, and as hard as it is, forcing myself to get moving. Running, biking, yoga, you name it- I’m going to try to be doing it. After using so much technology during the day, it’s nice to disconnect. Maybe we’re working on a project around the house or cooking a really extravagant meal for dinner. Maybe I need to really veg-out and watch an episode of Person of Interest on Netflix. Either way, I’m filling my afternoon/evening with things that bring me JOY and resetting my brain so I can wake up and do it all again tomorrow. I miss my kids and my classroom, but I know we’ll get back there eventually.

What has your day looked like lately? Are you working from home? If you have any tips or any thoughts on my daily routine, please share below in the comments!

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