Balancing Care for Students with Your Own Self-Care
Teaching can be challenging, and during a pandemic, faculty may find it
hard to balance their own care with their care for their students. We
offer some tips and strategies in this section, as well as resources for
you to consider, so that you prioritize self-care alongside care for
- Consider setting specific hours for answering students emails every day and communicating that to students.
- For office hours, consider holding these hours at the same time every week and/or by appointment. As much as possible, try to be consistent about when you will hold them and communicate to students that you encourage them to utilize this option, whether or not they have specific questions to ask.
- A combination of these strategies might work best for you, but setting clear boundaries with students is key. While you should communicate that you care for their wellbeing and success, boundaries help indicate to them when you are and are not available to support them.
When assigning students work, consider the time it will take you to provide feedback.
- If a particular assignment will take you longer to provide feedback on, and students won’t be able to use it for their next assignment, consider shortening the assignment, scaffolding the assignment into smaller component parts, or combining a few options together so that students have choice and you have enough time to support their progress.
- Consider other ways to provide feedback, such as voice or video feedback, check marks with longer comments, or a rubric in combination with written feedback, which can all often be faster than only written feedback.
Take breaks every day for yourself.
- Dedicate time every day for your other work obligations, such as research or writing, family and other life obligations, checking in on loved ones, and for moments to relax, even if only for a few minutes.
- Taking short breaks throughout the day to look out the window, go for a (socially distant) walk, or participating in other relaxing activities, will provide a much-needed break from the computer screen and help keep you centered on your own needs.