'You're not in this alone': one teacher's top tips for home working

Psychology teacher Claire Judd has some top tips for students, and for staff working from home with young children


1. Don't panic if you have loads of emails. Set up folders in your inbox for different subjects or different teachers and move them to the appropriate folder. Then go through each subject and make a list of what you need to do

2. If you're not sure how to do something or what you're supposed to do, email your teacher. That's what they're there for and we're all in this together!

3. Give yourself realistic chunks of time to do your work in, for example 40 minutes work, 20 minutes doing something you enjoy

4. Work in a space that is just for work if possible. If you can, avoid your bedroom, this is your sleeping space and needs to be kept that way, so you don't associate it with work or a to-do list

5. Stick to a routine, go to bed at a time you would normally for school and wake up at the same time every day

6. Don't forget fresh air works wonders for the mind, a daily walk, run, cycle and sitting in the sun makes all the difference if you're struggling

7. Talk to people – friends, a parent or teacher (online or in person of they're part of your household). If you have a concern, tell them that concern, if you don't, just have a chat. It'll remind you that you're not in this alone

Staff (working at home with children)

  1. Be realistic - you’re doing two jobs at the moment and you’re only one person (especially of your partner is a key worker!)
  2. Let the mess your children create go, no one’s going to see it anyway
  3. Don’t feel guilty if you need to give your children some screen time and use it to have a coffee and be away from your own screen – your sanity is so important at the moment!
  4. Make the most of evenings when they’re in bed to get organised for the next day or do marking (if your children are like my daughter there’s no way I can concentrate during the day on any lengthy piece of marking)
  5. Keep in touch with colleagues and friends for your own mental health, you're not alone in this!

Mrs Judd explains how she and her students are working through the psychology course together remotely.

“Students have been set assignments through Teams which they then upload for me to mark. It’s actually meaning they get much quicker feedback as I can mark work as it gets uploaded rather than taking in the work of a whole class at a time.

“I’ve also deviated from the course a bit with some extra reading on coronavirus and psychology as there is such a wealth of articles at the moment, from group and individual behaviour to behavioural psychology and the economy, as well as looking at statistics in graph form and probabilities!”

She is also juggling looking after her three-year-old daughter: “She’s been making cupcakes out of play dough and I’ve been told to refer to her as Princess Elsa Jasmine of Arendale.”

Since Mrs Judd is pregnant, she has been working from home for a few weeks and missed being able to say goodbye to her Y13 students, although they have been in contact by email.

“It’s been really sad not being able to say goodbye to them properly, but I am looking forward to their leavers’ ball (when it eventually happens) as that will be a major celebration for us all!

“Some year 13s going on to study psychology at university have asked for reading lists and I’ve been able to give them some ideas, podcasts and blogs to connect with. It’s really encouraging seeing how they’re keeping occupied.

“All the students have been incredibly positive, it’s lovely to see everyone adapt to the challenging circumstances.”