It's only Week One of our new teaching reality, but already I'm feeling more comfortable operating in a virtual work setting than I was last week. That's how fast the learning is happening for me, likely for you, and probably for our students, also.
Technology tools are our friends during this time, and our workplace friends and colleagues are our lifeline who will see us through the ups and downs. To that end, today's post focuses on the human side of working from home.
I've learned a lot, stumbled a fair bit, and gained confidence each time I've reached out for help and solved a problem without a techie down the hall but a colleague just around an online corner.
I need the discipline of a routine and a schedule to keep me on track during the day. To that end, I've set up a “morning check-in" chat with my department colleagues via MS Teams. I start the chat each morning, as if I were opening the office door and saying “Good morning!" As others roll in, they join the chat, we check in, share some conversation (maybe a few good GIFs) and then, one by one, check out and get on with our work. It's immediate, informal and fun.
I've already held several meetings by WebEx. I had never used the tool before last Monday, but already I'm comfortable handling business via that channel. My home bandwidth seems a bit wonky at times, so I've learned to shut off the video feature, use only the audio channel and manage my contribution that way. It's a productive way to do business and can accommodate around 20 people at a time, so you could connect with students effectively in smaller groups using WebEx.
Adjustment is unfolding
After almost one full week of working from home, I'll admit that the novelty has already worn off, and I'm settling into this new normal.
Importantly, I know I'm not alone. My colleagues are just a WhatsApp or MS Teams chat away. And there's always email or the phone. Old-fashioned, maybe, but tried and true functional.
This is our new normal. Together, we will define it – and conquer it.
What have you learned in your first week of working from home?
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