Are you a supply teacher, teaching assistant or residenital support worker looking for some help and advice? If so, you are the right place. Our blogs offer tips and tricks on everything from classroom management to interview tips and support, along with day in the life case studies from real supply teachers, NQTs and cover supervisors. They also give you an insight into what working for Smile is like, the ways which we support local communities and charities and the training and events that we offer.
Our team, like 10000s of others around the country, has been doing their bit to slow the spread of the coronavirus by working from home. Now seven months in, we all pretty much feel like we’re experts so we thought it was only right we share our top tips with you
Start the day off right
Get up, get dressed, brush your teeth. Treat this working day the same as any another. While it’s super tempting to spend the day in your PJs, our team found they get much more done when we are wearing something a little smarter.
It’s true what they say...
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Be sure to give yourself some time in the morning to eat something before you start work. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a piece of toast or some cereal, it will give you the fuel you need to get going
Set yourself some targets
Motivating yourself at home is by far one of the hardest things to do. We definitely miss the buzz and drive that the office brings. To overcome this, we suggest setting yourself some targets or writing a ‘must, should and could’ list to help keep you motivated and on track.
Stop with the emails
Emails are great for so many things, we’d have struggled in this pandemic without them but, (there’s always a but) they don’t beat a good old fashioned phone call. Even if it’s just a 2-minute chat having that human interaction is really important.
Make the most of your lunch break
It’s really easy to forget to switch off when you are working from home. The working day might be the same, but with no lunch buddies or German Doner Kebab near, lunch can sometimes pass you by. Don’t let it though! Use your lunch break to go for a walk or do some exercise or alternatively to chill and spend a little time away from your PC.
Music is a motivator
Sitting in silence doesn’t work for everyone. If you find you need a little bit of background noise find yourself a playlist or a radio station to listen to. This is especially useful if you are doing a more mundane task as it can help to motivate you.
Find yourself a good spot
You’ll want to make sure that you’ve got a comfortable space to work in, ideally with plenty of light and some air. After this year, if safe to say that many people will be thinking about adding an office to their home but, until then all you need is a table and a comfortable chair that supports your back.
Get yourself a virtual office
Our team have found that a virtual office can be almost as good as the real thing as it gives them the opportunity to work together.. Plus there’s no DIY required and you don’t need to kick anyone out to make space for it. All you need to do is set up a room on Microsoft Teams (or another similar platform). Essentially, it’s a video call (but that doesn’t sound nearly as snazzy!).
Organisation is key
As we said above we are strong believers in the power of a ‘to do’ list. Something a few of our team have found helpful is adding household tasks and chores to their list too. These are things they might do on their break like washing up, rining the bank or even going for a walk. Alternatively, if you are struggling to motivate yourself take a leaf out of Mrs Hinch’s book and try a ‘ta-da’ list which is the opposite of the ‘to do’ list and involves writing things down after you’ve done them. You’ll usually be surprised by what you’ve achieved!
Stick to a schedule
Time is different when you are working from home. Often we forget to take lunch or end up working long past 5:00 pm. Ther’s no rush to get home because we are already there. But it is really important to take breaks and switch off when the working day is over. If you are having a hard time, some of our team have found setting alarms helpful as it alerts them to time so they know it’s time to log out and chill out.
Hopefully, you’ve found these tips useful and there might be a few you haven’t seen before. We are all in the same boat right now and these tips are education recruitment specific so, whether it’s another sector of recruitment you work in or your a teacher doing virtual lessons from home, there will hopefully be something you can take away from this.