Before you scoff and skip this one, just have an honest conversation with yourself - do you really not need mental health support? Now that you have acknowledged you indeed struggle with your sanity when you try to be more tech-savvy in vain and bridge the gap with your students, hop in and make avail of these mental health tricks I curated below.
I have used a simple structure for this. 3 points per section that's it.
Acknowledge at the beginning of every class that these are hard times. Take time to say this. And tell them you understand their plight. Take this as an opportunity to remind students that they aren't alone.
At the end of every class, post these Mental Health apps and tools listed below in the student section and tell them to make use of them.
Acknowledge the technology gap, the social class gaps. Everyone does not have the same internet connection or quietness in a household to fully listen to you. Assure students that your recordings will be available for them to review later. Make sure that you share those recordings.
Every week, open a Google Form to receive feedback from your students: "Am I too quick?", "Should I revisit a concept", "Do we want a specific Doubt/Clarifications Class?"
Ask to talk to the parents. Parents need to regulate their behaviour during class hours. Students have been complaining that they can't focus in class because of unregulated parental expectations to participate in household chores and pertinent high intonated household cacophony whilst students are online. Parents need to be educated as to how they can better support their wards. You, as an educator, can request parents to respect your students learning space if you feel safe to do so. It's better to send a message to all parents instead of singling out some parents.
Be kind to yourself. You can only do so much.
Take breaks between sessions. Eat and sleep well.
Orient your students towards self-learning and peer-based study groups. Be part of making that culture happen. Covid-19 is pushing teachers across the world to drop the silver spoon format. It's not tantamount to a paycut on you. Students will eventually respect you more for truly caring for them instead of making them excessively reliant on you.
Mental Health Apps & Links
Here are some incredible mental and emotional health apps to recommend to your students and perhaps use for yourself:
Coach.me helps you reach your goals through coaching, community, and data to help you make daily progress on things that matter. On the most basic level, you add habits to your Coach.me dashboard and check in on them daily when you complete them. This basic accountability provides a surprisingly powerful incentive to keep you on track.
Calm has guided meditations to help you sleep, relax, and enjoy life. Relax with Calm, a simple mindfulness meditation app featured in the New York Times and LifeHacker, that will bring more clarity, joy, and peace of mind into your life, at work or at home.
YouTube ASMR sound videos for sleeping well, coping with stress and destressing e.g. this one. Or relaxing sounds in general. Music therapy is legit.
Instead of downloading yet another app, have them follow these mental health empowerment Mauritian accounts for content that will help them/you: