Teachers have always been associated with having a lot of movement in their workplace. The nature of teaching and checking on students always allowed teachers to be ambulant and move around the classroom. However, COVID-19 has sent most ESL teachers home and behind their laptops all day long. Besides physical issues that sedentary behaviour can bring to everyone, it can affect the creativity and eagerness of teachers despite their good intentions. Here are five tips for those at home who feel the pain in their back and knees and want a change!
Place your laptop in a higher position.
We need to stick to our laptops but not necessarily to our desks! I have tried to place my laptop on a bookshelf where I need to stand and at times walk in front of the screen. This gives me more freedom of movement and ability to be seen fully by my students while explaining with my gestures.
Break times are no longer for resting.
We used to become physically tired in class and sit down and relax with a cup of coffee during break times. Now, with prolonged sitting time during class, break times should be devoted to exercising. From stretching out to doing jumping jacks, any type of physical activity (PA) would be beneficial.
Share the excitement with the students.
It’s not just the teachers; students also need to have PA during class time. If you want to boost their mood, there are some websites that may come in handy. Gonoodle, for instance, has lots of clips for this purpose, which can be used with our ESL students, to cheer them up while they get a bit of PA. Some other sites I like include Fitness Hustle TV, YMCA 360: On-Demand Videos and Yoga with Adriene.
Share the real board not the screen board.
It is nice to have a whiteboard or blackboard at home and teach through writing on your board every now and then. The only concern would be whether you can adjust your camera to make sure the content on the board is clear and visible to the students.
Don’t forget your wireless headset!
For sure when you step away from your screen, keeping voices audible is a must. A wireless headset lets you keep your distance from the screen if you need to stand and teach.