My second week of work as a full-time online teacher had me lurking around Aventa Learning’s Teacher Resource Center in consideration of viewing an Elluminate Live! session titled "Stress Relief for Online Teachers (Time Management Tips)". This was the case not so much due to the fact that I was “stressed”, per se, but more resulting from the fact that it had become blazingly apparent that stress would soon be on its way to my online classroom door. She would come, clicking down the tiled hallway in her leathered heels, along with 40 or more students, on the last day of January.
My online Homeroom had recently changed in appearance, alerting me to this fact. One moment, at 10am on a Thurday, it contained the cornflower blue link to ONE course…the soul course to which I was currently acclimating. I left my homeroom for just a moment to “deliver” a fix-chit to our tech people. Upon my return, my Homeroom had changed in appearance. Alongside my once-lonely World Literature course , stood two more World Literature courses.
I knew this was coming and was looking forward to being given more responsibility, but I had a few moments of heart pounding adrenaline upon thinking of two classrooms full of students popping up on my monitor all on one day. Differing from my one course, these two would gain all of its students on one day..the last day of January . The course that I was teaching now, was an open-enrollment course, which had eased me into the online teaching world one student at a time.
So, at the end of the week, I stood in my virtual teacher library, staring at an Elluminate link on stress management. Was I admitting weakness? Perhaps I was jumping the gun. So far, my seven students hadn’t even been a drop in the bucket toward the status of “stressed-out”.
No, I wasn’t admitting weakness and I wasn’t jumping the gun. It is my responsibility, to both me and my company, to prepare myself for a heavy load of work. This is when I will become an asset and achieve “productivity”. I will be prepared for the heavy load (which will only get heavier) by researching time and work flow management techniques.
With this, I am off to read a book suggested by the Executive Officer of a United States Navy Squadron - "Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity' by David Allen. Surely, if this text can help a man manage 300 men and a fleet of aircraft during wartime, it certainly can give me some insight on how to manage a few gaggles of online students.