10 Tips for Teaching When You Just Can’t Be Bothered

10 Tips for Teaching When You Just Can’t Be Bothered

I love teaching online with Landi. It has given me the freedom to work from home, the kids are (mostly) amazing, and it allows me to teach without all the other add-ons that encouraged me to leave the traditional classroom. But sometimes, I just don’t want to.

I'm not a morning person, and sometimes my bed is calling out, begging me to stay.

So here are my 10 tips for teaching when you just can't be bothered. 

1. Get organised.

Sometimes, the thing I can't be bothered doing in the morning isn't really teaching. I can deal with teaching.

It's setting up my classroom, making sure I have all my props and things together, and getting ready to teach.

I usually have a bit more ‘joie de vivre' of an evening, so I sort things out then. I make sure I have as little to do as possible of a morning so I can sleep as long as possible and only have to leave my bedroom to make tea, which is a task I find completely acceptable.

2. Take advantage of those breaks 

Student feedback is important, and usually a pre-requisite to getting paid. Saving it until later leaves you a big job to do at the end of classes, and honestly, I’ve forgotten my first lessons by the end of the working day.

But sometimes, when you're a bit stressed, you just need to chill for those 5 minutes. Or put the kettle on. Again. Or just devote those 300 precious seconds to biscuits.

As a traditional teacher I wouldn't be constantly ‘on' for the whole class without having a quick minute to myself whilst the kids are on task. And I wouldn't teach more than 2 lessons without a break. So look after yourself.

Feedback can wait. (Top tip – set an alarm for an hour before it's due so there’s no chance of forgetting!)

3. Treat yourself. 

Having something to focus on at the end of the teaching day can really pull me through. For me, it's usually lunch. If I just don't want to do another class, I think about what I will have for my lunch when I finish.

I'm at home, so I can cook whatever I want. And eat it in my comfy clothes. I can do these next two classes, all for the promise of a bacon sandwich. Working from home has its perks.

4. Do the maths.

I love teaching online, but like any job, my main motivation for doing this is money. Doing the maths of how much I'll earn singing the same song about toys I've already sung three times today might be just what I need to make sure I'm in tune and smiling whilst it's playing.

A visual incentive of what you’re saving for in your classroom can be extra helpful when mustering the energy to dance along to the goodbye song…

5. See who you're teaching today

With Landi, my schedule is pretty fixed and I see pretty much the same kids every week. Luckily, I tend to have classes I really enjoy as my last ones of the day. Reminding myself that I'm going to see a kid who makes me howl laughing in 3 hours can probably make me soldier through the fact that my second lesson is with that one child who seems to hate me.

6. Look out the window.

Teaching online has many benefits. Living in England, one of those benefits is that I don't have to go outside in the rain to get to work; a quick look out the window at people walking with umbrellas gives me a sense of smug satisfaction that I get to work in sweat pants at home.

For some of you, teaching online might be funding your lifestyle in an amazing place you never thought you could live and work in. Whatever it is, taking stock at how this job helps you be where you want to be can get you through the day. 

7. Change things up.

With Landi, I tend to have a lot of students doing the same lesson each week. This has the amazing benefits of reduced planning, less faff with props, and only having to learn a couple of songs instead of a whole discography every Sunday night.

However, it can be a bit repetitive, so finding new ways to teach can keep you sane. I was teaching a lesson about different animals and their spots today, and was bored by the grammar section, so decided to draw spots on a pictures of me for the kids to describe. They found it hilarious and it gave me that little energy boost to keep going.

Finding new fun things to do in your class, whether mid lesson, or taking it big and buying new props or changing your background, can sometimes just give you a little pep when you're feeling rubbish.

8. Sugar boost

Sometimes my low energy for the day is down to normal logical things, like the fact I don't eat breakfast first thing. Hunger sets in 2 hours in and there’s no time for anything more than a grab and go option in the 5-minute break.

I've started to keep a stash of cereal bars on hand so that if I am in a little slump, I can get rid of any hanger and be a more cheerful, joyous teacher. 

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9. English is so important.

A second language can change our lives. I speak Spanish as well as English and I know that it’s opened so many doors for me. I love to think about what me teaching these kids English will do for them.

You could be giving them the skills they’ll use to get a dream job, make a best friend, or to see the world.  It’s so cool to think how much you could be changing someone’s life through these lessons, and that’s a massive motivator for me on those ‘can’t be bothered’ mornings. 

10. Seriously, take a break

Most of these suggestions are to help you when you're in a little slump. Some days, you just can’t be bothered, but you’ll power through and enjoy your day. But sometimes it's a little more than that. Being an independent contractor, it's hard sometimes to forfeit some pay and just take a few days to de-stress. Its easy to say ‘it's only a few hours a day' or ‘it's not worth losing the money' but not taking breaks can make you need longer off in the future.

Landi has a great leave policy, where you can book up to 14 days off per 6 month contract, and I would recommend leave to anyone who is feeling a bit run down.

I'm actively trying to save a little each month for ‘holiday pay' to make sure I can afford to do this, and would suggest this idea to anyone who is in the position to do so.

Our business is teaching, and we can't teach without our bodies and minds being in full working order, so try to give yourself a break.

If you'd like to apply to Landi, you can use my referral link below and I would really appreciate it:

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About Teacher Gemma

Proud Teacher for Landi!

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