Teaching Biology Online – Experience And Tips
On the 1st of April, teachers and students alike embarked on a new and unfamiliar journey – the world of online teaching and learning. As a biology teacher it took some thought and much planning to adjust to the challenges of moving my subject onto a virtual platform. Getting to grips with the technological side of online teaching seemed like a daunting task at first.
I found myself being a student again, having to learn how to use Google Classroom in much greater depth than I ever thought I would have to. After a few days of trial and error, however, the sailing went much smoother and I realised just how adaptable a person can be when the situation requires it. Soon I was uploading videos of myself teaching content, having live Google Meet sessions to check in with my students, scheduling lesson content and doing online registers as though this is the way its always been done.
Navigating classes from a distance has been made easier by the many dedicated students that work to their full capacity at home and provide valuable feedback on their Biology online experience. This feedback is helpful in adjusting the system to ensure that the learning process continues even though we are not at school. I have been astounded by the resilience of many students who have also had to figure out how to approach online classes and manage their time independently from a typical school environment.
The following tips for working from home have been very helpful the past two weeks:
- Have a set routine: This is important as it brings some structure to your day in these uncertain times.
- Take regular breaks: Working from home can be taxing and intense so take many short breaks if you can.
- Spend some time outside: Being cooped up indoors for long periods of time can have a negative impact on your mood and well being so try to spend at least 15 minutes a day outside (weather permitting).
- Cuddle with your pets: If you have pets at home it can lower your stress levels and blood pressure by stroking them for a while.
- Be kind to yourself: Do the best you can do but do not push yourself beyond your limits.
“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to” – Robin Williams
High School Biology Teacher