It’s been between 3-4 weeks since the majority of us have
been working remotely. While this has had an impact on many facets of our
lives, let’s focus on our work lives in this post. How do you navigate the
unique dynamics of working from home, especially if you’re not alone? There are
several challenges related to working remotely such as limited access to files
or curricular materials, noise and distractions from those within and outside
of your home, and having to deal with health concerns—your own and/or those
of your loved ones. Here are a few tips:
Create a calendar/routine: This is especially important if you have multiple people in the home and have to share space and/or technology. While our current reality is anything but “normal,” try to promote a sense of normalcy by doing what you used to do before while also establishing some new routines (e.g. shower and get dressed as if you were going into the office—YES, I said get dressed, no matter how tempting it may be to stay in your PJs, schedule and enjoy your meals and breaks, check your emails and use a calendar to keep track of all of your work meetings and activities). If sharing space/technology, you may want to do this for everyone in your home to avoid scheduling conflicts.
Find/create a space at home to work: Acknowledging that this may be difficult if space is limited and there are multiple people in your home, try to find a neutral space with few distractions (for you and for those that will see you on video). If you’re on several virtual meetings, you want to find an area that is well-lit and not too far from your router so that you get a strong connection. Make sure your seating is comfortable, but not too comfortable…I know the recliner is really tempting.
Step up your technology game: Since more of us are working online, we’re seeing the good side of technology (e.g. being able to connect with friends and family for virtual hang-out sessions) and the not-so-good side of technology (e.g. Zoom Bombing). Take this time to learn the basics of some commonly used platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, as well as some newer ways that people are connecting like Houseparty.
Establish boundaries: Working from home means that it’s easier to get your day started, but it might also make it harder for you to end your day. It’s important to establish boundaries by letting people (including your family, colleagues, etc.) know when you’re working and when you’re off the clock. Most importantly, when you’re off…you’re off! Disconnect from work and reconnect with your actual “home life.”
Be gentle with yourself: As mentioned previously, there is nothing normal about what we are collectively experiencing. So, don’t expect to fall into “work as usual” mode so quickly. Allow yourself time to find your groove in our new reality and, don’t just forgive yourself for making mistakes, but expect them. Lastly, explore new self-care options: take an online dance, yoga, or fitness class, listen to your favorite podcasts or audiobooks, take on the those long overdue home improvement projects, experiment with some new recipes or reconnect with loved ones that you’ve lost touch with.
Our first reading club meeting was a big hit! Though Jutta
may have broken out into a bit of a sweat trying to put everyone in and out of
small groups, it was great to actually lay eyes on so many people and hear your
voices and your insights. Don’t forget to register
for this week’s meeting and save some time for the readings:
Do you have suggestions for SRAE/CAPP/PREP reading club selections on adolescent development, adolescent sexual health, or positive youth development? Put them in the comments, and be sure to include a link!
For our first reading club discussion (which will be April 10 at 11:00), we’re taking a suggestion raised at a provider learning collaborative meeting:
Peggy Orenstein: The Miseducation of the American Boy In this Atlantic article, Orenstein — who interviewed over 100 boys and young men for her new book — considers why we need to give boys new and better models of masculinity.
Since we are all working from home and much of our regular
work is suspended for the time being, we have a rare opportunity for
professional development and collaborative work. So at the all-provider
learning community meeting this past Tuesday, the TA Team introduced new
vehicles for moving forward: online work groups and a book/article club.
In the learning
community meeting Heather also went over basics for Zoom meetings from the
perspective of participants (00:53 – 08:07) and Michele reported on the results
of last week’s survey (08:44 – 22:34). Here is the recording,
and here are the
PDF slides – you’ll also find them on the Shared
the SRAE Work Group?
The goal of the SRAE work group is to collaboratively prepare
for future programming. The SRAE work group will meet weekly with Jutta
facilitating. Participants will work on projects in between sessions and
present their work the following week. We are starting with one group for SRAE,
but if there is interest we could split into additional topic areas.
The work group is voluntary, but we hope you’ll actively
join in! If we can judge by the chat response at our recent meeting, folks seem
enthusiastic about taking this on.
What is the Reading Club?
On Fridays we would like to introduce a new professional development opportunity: a book/article discussion group open to SRAE, CAPP, and PREP. We’ll send articles around and facilitate a discussion on the readings. We won’t present on or review the material—we ask you to read the articles first, then we’ll use our time on Friday to discuss how it applies to our work. If you have an article you’d like to share, please let us know! Check back here for links to the first readings.
~ The TA Team: Jutta, Michele, Marisol, and Heather
Leaders of Learning: This course on learning theories is offered by EdX: HarvardX. Faculty from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education facilitate this course until mid-June. It is free; work load 4-6 hours per week; a certificate can be purchased. Starts today.
2020 National Service-Learning Conference: The National Youth Leadership Council is sponsoring this free, virtual conference April 16-17. Register by April 13. Session topics range from youth voice and civic engagement to education equity and reflection.
Motivational Interviewing – Enhancing Engagement & Improving Conversations: This is a two-part webinar, taking place on Monday, April 20 & Wednesday, April 22. You must register separately for each event. This interactive, online training will review and make relevant the key concepts of Motivational Interviewing. Participants will explore how and when to employ this evidence-based practice to support behavior change. Tailored case scenarios will be used to provide hands on, in real time, practice opportunities focusing on substance-misuse-prevention conversations.
The Commons–our brand new blog for SRAE providers–is intended as a gathering place for you all. We are launching it now, during the time of COVID-19, to strengthen our collective ability to connect with each other online.
We plan to post information and resources here, and we invite you to join in by commenting and writing guest posts. Consider The Commons a tool for sharing your expertise, ideas, and questions with your colleagues throughout the SRAE initiative.
Please post a hello in the comments to get us started! Posts will be moderated (that’s just to prevent spam). Subsequent posts should appear right away.
Stay safe, healthy, and creative–and remember we’re in this