Surviving life in lockdown

Tips from staff for studying and working remotely

As we’re now a few weeks into Term 2, many students have settled in well and they’re finding remote learning to be going smoothly. While most agree that it’s perhaps not the most ideal learning situation, remote learning has been great in terms of providing a sense of ‘normality’ during a challenging time.

Like anything in life, there are challenges with this new situation we find ourselves in. Similarly, learning and working from home comes with a host of challenges too, particularly when everyone is crammed together, in the same house… Every. Day. Of. The. WEEK! Some of us might even feel like we’re loosing it a bit!

For students and staff alike, one such challenge has been trying to find some division between ‘school/work’ time and ‘home/personal life’ time. Here are some suggestions, thoughts, tips and ideas from staff for making sure that we all try and maintain a healthy balance, while looking after ourselves and each other. Happy reading!

“At 3.30, I close the computer, and take the dog for a walk for at least an hour, to get fresh air and much needed exercise.” – Helen

“At 3.35 I close my computer and wait until I would normally reopen it again to check emails, etc… Which is usually after tea, provided I don’t have a Google Meet after school that is! Then it’s time to go for a walk or message my family or get some more pieces sorted for that jigsaw puzzle.” – Lyndel

“When I get home from work I get changed and do some exercise/read/work in the garden or walk my dog and then have dinner, followed by watching an episode of a TV show that I enjoy. Then, if I feel like I need to get some more work done I can get the laptop out. But, I always follow this with reading a good book before I go to bed. I find doing this helps to separate work from home and makes sure working from the laptop doesn’t take over my life!” – Sara

“I follow my normal routine each morning and afternoon. I try to make sure that my down time from working involves as little screen time as possible and instead try to walk, exercise, socialise with my family, cook, clean or do something else I enjoy. This makes me feel like I have used my personal time wisely rather than scrolling on my phone or watching too many episodes on Netflix.” – Bec

“I dress ready for work everyday, including Galen tops and appropriate footwear. Feels like a change in mindset when I change clothes and especially footwear (into my uggs) at the end of the day.” – Deb

“I make sure I am dressed and ready to go for a normal workday. At around 4:00pm, I pack up my desk and go for a walk or bike ride with my family. It’s great to have a break from your laptop, get some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine!” – Meg

“I try to treat my day like any normal school day, up and walk the dog and ensure that I dress appropriately for the day (maybe not the footwear!). At the end of the day, I either go for a bike ride or walk the dog between 3.45-5.00 pm, enjoying the sunshine. Checking emails at night time, using draft and trying not to email out to colleagues late at night.” – Liz M

“Find a task that is new to you – I’ve started origami. This task should take your full concentration. Then whenever you find yourself getting stressed or even when you have some spare time, engaging in this task will give your mind a break and make you concentrate on something else. Origami is good because you get a quick result when you’re done. Go for a walk and keep a part of your day for going outside as sacred. Exercise your eyes and look beyond the screen when you can. Also stretch between classes. Involve Art in your day. I have just taken part in a COVID-19 play, which you can watch online:

“I’m really utilising that long lunch by either going for a walk or sitting outside and reading. I’ve also set alarms on my phone when not at school to tell me to finish the day/period.” – Flick

“At 3.30 I remind all members of the remote learning cohort at my house “The bells gone”. Then if there are no Google Meets, it is exercise time, walking or riding a bike. Reading a new book a week helps to break up the screen time too.” Julie

“During the school day we turn off the TV/radio. We all have designated work spaces and spend some time together at lunch. After 3:30 we either go for a walk, girls go to virtual dance classes and the TV or radio are put on to signify the end of school for the day. Any homework is completed after an hour off their screens.” – Kylie

“Try to have a designated area for your school work and a designated ‘chill out’ space if possible too. Avoid sleeping in and really try to get ready for your school day in an organised way and that includes having a healthy breakfast and getting up early at the same time each week-day. This sets your day up in a positive, active and organised manner and defines the weekdays from the weekend, which is really important in these times! Get dressed and organize your school books/laptop for your classes and check SIMON for your timetable and times. This will avoid the day extending too late into the evening. Have pride in your appearance and how organised you have become!” – Jennifer. B

“Use your Google Meets effectively, for example, take notes during these classes and ask questions/engage! This will mean you are using this time to its best advantage and lessen time outside of school trying to catch up and work out units of work.” – Jennifer. B

“Keep communicating with your teachers and stick to the due dates to avoid work piling up. Ask for help when needed to avoid feeling like you are failing. Often students are not the only ones! I also remind students to understand that Teachers are also struggling and we are in this together! Try to have these conversations/emails during school hours.” Jennifer. B

“After school go outside for a walk, exercise, listen to music outside, draw, walk your dog, pick some flowers, plant a tree, kick a ball, begin a project, have a hot drink outside, etc. Have a healthy and enjoyable activity/interest that can become a routine at the end of each school day and gives you a clear break.” – Jennifer. B

“Assign different spaces in your house and yard if possible to represent different learning and class spaces. For example: dining table for Art, outside for PE, desk in room for English.” – Therese

“30 Days of Yoga with Adriene is a great way to de-stress and reverse the negative impact of extended time on a laptop.” View it at:      Kate A

“At the end of the day, leave your laptop in another room or at least not at a desk/table where you can comfortably pull up a chair. And don’t have work emails connected to your personal mobile device that you can check easily!” – Skye H

“In terms of getting started for the day, put on your best smell to get you motivated for work/learning, even if you know you won’t be seeing other people, doesn’t matter whether it’s a deodorant/perfume/room spray. Do it all again in the afternoon when you need a shift in focus/motivation. Avoid candles because they are ‘all day long smells’ and you won’t get the same ‘kick’. – Skye H

When working from home, I make sure that I am following the same time slots as if I were at school: I start at 8.30, I take a break for morning tea at around recess time, stop for lunch at lunch time, take a 10 minute break some time between 3.30 and 4.00pm. I finish at 5.00 and take a substantial break and do not go back to work until after dinner if there is more work to be done. – Bernard

I have a designated working space at home and I only ever do my work from there. The rest of the house feels like “home” and the designated space feels like “work/school” and I do not let them overlap. I go away from my work space for the breaks and I never eat my lunch in the work space. Bernard