How are you feeling today?

Today marks a month of our quarantine in Massachusetts at least for higher ed and K-12 as there are still people that are working in health care, supermarket, and construction industries.

As I have settled in homeschooling my son and weekly zoom meetings with my students, grading, cooking, and cleaning. By the way, my house has never been so clean or organized! Slightly_Smiling_Face_Emoji_87fdae9b-b2af-4619-a37f-e484c5e2e7a4_large.png

One thing that CONVID-19 has done is make us do is to slow down and check-in with people. Whether that is my students, friends, or family everybody is calling, texting, and video chatting with everyone. I am receiving messages from friends I haven’t heard from in a long time. We are also taking time for ourselves by exercising, reading a book, watching a movie with a child and/or spouse in the middle of the day just because.

When I get on zoom I find myself asking students: How are you feeling today? Some students are saying fine because I think that is an easy answer. But some are opening up and saying that they are feeling overwhelmed, tired, uncertain about the future, and worried. Never in the last twenty-five years of teaching have I intentionally done a mental or emotional check-in with my students like I do now. As I am thinking about it, I wonder why? It isn’t that I don’t care about my students because I do, but there seems that there is never enough time to really check in with everybody.

The other type of discussion I keep having with my students is about exercise. So who is exercising and what type of exercising are you doing?  One student told me jokingly that she will have a six-pack by the time she gets back to school. Personally, I am spending a half an hour on my yoga mat every day for the last twenty days and I have to say that I am seeing a difference in how I am feeling throughout the day.

The other conversation I am having with them about self-care as well as the fact that they need to turn off their computers and phones because many of them are spending a lot of time video conferencing with their professors and classmates, which can be overwhelming and stressful for them.

Are you having these discussions with your students? Even if it is a few minutes before class starts it is really worth the time. I see my students smiling more and they are more talkative.

The lesson that I have learned so far during the quarantine is that I want to continue to make time and check in with my students and people I care as well as continue to take better care of myself.

How about you? How are you feeling today?

 

Katherine

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