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Keep Moving, Teachers!

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We thought COVID was about to come to an end. We were wrong.

The day we were forced to go back to our houses, teaching from home, has come. Again. For the second time. Never crossed my mind that this day would come. The morning I was ready with my Monday uniform, holding the door key in the left hand and phone in the right hand. I was shocked. I was reading an unbelievable message saying the teachers must not come to school, and asked to teach from home starting that day on.

Figuring out how to change the lesson plan from hybrid mode to full online mode was not that difficult. But overcoming the shocking news takes a meeting with the principals and all the teachers to gather my soul together.

"God grant you what you wanted," my husband laughed.

To be honest, teaching in hybrid mode is a real challenge, more than face-to-face meeting or online. But I didn't wish that COVID would be coming back, no. It was very hard to give equal attention between the students at home and the students at school at the same time. Most of the time I gave more attention to the ones at school that I forgot I had students at home waiting for my instructions. Then I would feel guilty for not being fair to them. At that point you would hope that you can just do one type of teaching, either face-to-face or online, at a time. I believe many teachers who experienced hybrid learning have ever felt the same way.

Just about two weeks ago, we were having a focus group discussion with several other teachers (this is a mandatory program in our school) that we talked about obesity. We talked about how we gain weight during online teaching and why our stamina breaks apart when we come back to school. We discussed how the pandemic has changed our way of work, more sitting hours due to online teaching and less movement.

You can imagine, starting May 2020 instead of walking to classes in different buildings, we would sit in front of our laptops from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., sometimes even more, to teach and run our school programs all online. Only your fingers and the vocal cord were actually doing the sport. No wonder why teachers suddenly lose their stamina when they go back to the real classroom. After lunch break you would just hope that school will be over soon because your body is hurting because it hasn't done sports in about two years during the pandemic.

I said to the group,"I wonder what makes our stamina decrease compared to before the pandemic. Then I watched a video of a teacher teaching online in other countries. They teach standing up! They stand up! Not sitting! They put their laptops at a higher position. Their laptop positioning follows their teaching posture as if in a real lesson, not the other way around. Then I realized what I did wrong in the last two years!"

"Ms Nia, why did you tell us this right now? I wish you would tell us earlier," one of my colleagues chimed in,"I was always trying to find the coziest sitting position, the softest chair, when I teach online." She regretted that she knew it when online teaching was almost over (I am sorry, it wasn’t, Ma’am).

Well, now that the government mandate to do online learning has come, it is time to practice what we learned.

Maintaining physical health is important for teachers


Yes, teachers. We are good at our brain, but it will work better if you have the stamina. No wonder why George Couros is investing so much in his daily physical exercise.

Teachers, you have 8 sessions to enter everyday, plus lesson planning, checking assessments, professional development, and keeping in touch with parents. You definitely need to build your stamina!

Move, walk, dance, exercise!

Eat healthy food, stop those junk foods you asked your students to stop eating!

Get enough sleep!

Even if the pandemic comes back and we were forced to take shelters in our homes, you can still do what is mentioned above

Good mood will follow good health

You will need your best mood to keep yourself positive throughout the day. It will never happen if you get a routine headache, gastric acid reflux, or constantly feeling exhausted.

Good health will lead to good mood, good mood will lead to good health. There are tons of studies and articles about this if you want to search.

What sport should I do?

Anything that you like other than sitting. It doesn’t even have to be a real sport like tennis or football or marathon (“Who would have time for that?” you might say). Of course doing real sport will give you more advantage, but if you can’t make the time, you can do anything but sitting. You can walk to the grocery store, bike to the laundromat, clean the house, do your dishes, anything but sitting. But because our main activities are in front of the laptop, here is one more thing that I suggest you do.

Change Your Workspace

It might also be a good idea to change your workspace for teaching so you can teach while you are standing. So you teach as if you are in your regular class. Other than giving benefits to health, standing up also allows you to be more expressive when you are teaching. You can show more gestures and body language other than just moving your mouse pointers.This will give you a better impression for students, too.

We came back to our houses for teaching and learning. This is not our first time. We learned from the past to make sure that tomorrow is going to be much better. See you in the next post.

Nia M Wardani
Hi! Call me Nia. I am a physics teacher and I love to learn anything in the universe.

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7 comments

  1. This pandemic situation make me think hardly, how to teach effectively between on line and off line class, and it's hard in fact. But yup, we've to keep moving and keep teaching no matter what happen

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  2. I honor to all teachers... I thought that they are a true hero in pandemic era.

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  3. It's called "ergonomic" which having work space based on human position. In the othe countries, they apllied it. So they have good position while they in front of laptop all day long :) In Indonesia have not concern about it. Anyway, good luck for teacher in pandemic era. I hope you all have a good health and patient. Beacuse to be honest, this is also hard for parents at home, especally the student ofcourse :(

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  4. Dari tulisan ini aku mendapat pelajaran berharga, pentingnya melakukan gerakan fisik untuk menjaga keawetan stamina. ku jadi teringat sosok Ka' Seto dengan jargon anti magernya. Yuk mulai aktif bergerak ..

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  5. Hopefully pandemic will go away. Wish! Ganbate for all teachers in the world and off course, parents too. Be strong and patient.

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  6. Berat ya, Mbak Nia. I feel you, deh. Guru emang top markotop dengan segala keterbatasan karena pandemi. Orang tua, murid, yang denger kayak saya aja, pegel denger belajar dari rumah lagi. Apalagi guru yang sekarang banyak dipandang ringan karena ngajarnya online. Semangat buat para guru termasuj Mbak Nia.

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  7. Setujuu...guru juga kudu kuat staminanya. Semoga guru guru Indonesia makin sejahtera ya mbak

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