Tips for Balancing Your In-Person and Online Teaching Job

Are you a novice teacher that wants to get your hands on anything and everything teaching-related? Want to teach both in-person and online, but don’t know where to start or how to balance it all? Hello, I’m Nicole and I’m an online Vipkid and Outschool teacher as well as a long-term substitute working with the Special Education Department (SPED) as a paraprofessional. How do I do it? Here are some tips to help you if you’re considering teaching online and in the B&M classroom.

Prioritize and Have a Routine

For me, my main job is working with SPED. School starts at 8:00 am, so after my 7:00 am Vipkid class I head for the door. So that means the night before, I go through a routine such as packing my lunch, setting up the coffee maker, having my school stuff at a designated area, and laying out my clothes so I can wear the same outfit while I teach online and at school. Vipkid used to require their teachers to wear orange but since they don't anymore, I find it easier to wear the same outfit to both my online and in-person job. I also set up my online props and rewards the night before so I’m not scrambling minutes before class starts.

Know Your Limits

Only you know what your body can handle. I’m definitely not a morning person, so at 5:00 am I’ll most likely still be in bed while others may be teaching a Vipkid class. I only teach 1-2 classes before going off to work or sometimes none because students cancel and I just close the slot and do not worry about getting booked for a short notice class. I use that extra time to sleep in a little longer or get ready for school. As educators, you need energy to give to your students. I do not want to be the person that shows up to work lagging when other teachers and students rely on me for in-class support. Let’s be real, we all know it’s going to be chaos if you try to do more than you can handle. My body can only give an hour of energy to my Vipkid students and I need the rest to last me 8 hours for my SPED students.

Lastly, I also teach online for Outschool. My classes are normally scheduled between 5- 6:15 pm and never later. By the time school ends, I’m exhausted. So if learners have enrolled in my Outschool classes for that day, I make sure to catch a breather and refuel before the class starts. The nice thing is that Outschool cancels the class for you 24 hours ahead of time if there are no learners enrolled so I never have to worry about last-minute bookings.

Take a Break

When school ends, I go straight home and find something to snack on. Sometimes I go to the gym and get a workout in. For me, that is my after-school stress relief. I don’t bring work home with me, I do all my data gathering during class while offering support to my SPED students. I’m a firm believer of “time outside of work hours is my time.” Remember that mental health is important. When I first started my career in education, I experienced a toxic teaching job where I had neither breaks during the school day nor a planning period and ended up bringing work home with me every night and every weekend. That wasn’t good for my mental health. I literally had no time to breathe or do anything for myself. Teacher burnout is real!! Since then, I’ve learned to make sure to take breaks as needed because you cannot be an effective teacher if you do not take care of yourself.

What I do seems like a lot, but I enjoy it. For me, I personally see it as an opportunity to grow as an educator, both in-person and online as I am also working on becoming a certified public school teacher for the state I live in. I believe that balance is the key. Do your job when it’s time to do your job, but also take time for yourself. It’s okay to put yourself first!

Meet our author NICOLE...

Hello, my name is Nicole and I’m obsessed with all things education and coffee. I have been in education for 5 years and have experience being a 3rd-grade teacher, toddler teacher, elementary after school lead teacher at a daycare, online teacher, and of course substitute teacher. As you can tell, I work with a lot of elementary and that is where my IG name a.latte.elementary got its name. I have always loved working with children and it is such a joy to see them hit milestones and progress as they grow physically, mentally, and emotionally. If I’m not in the classroom, I’m most likely at the gym, having coffee with friends, at home watching hallmark videos, or traveling.

Sending a great big thank you to Nicole for taking some time during her busy schedule to create this blog post and help teachers like you and me learn how to balance teaching online while working an in-person job. If you'd like to follow Nicole's teaching journey you can connect with her via Instagram @a.latte.elementary !

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