Return Anxiety: How to Manage the Return to Working in Schools Post-Covid-19
While some may be eagerly anticipating the return to normal daily life and the return to their vocation, others may be feeling nervous, anxious or worried about going back to their routine, and wondering what a return to ‘normal’ will even look like after this disruptive and unprecedented period.
Those feeling this anxiety are certainly not alone- survey data and reports have clearly evidenced that a large portion of our population here in the UK share these fears over a return to working life, however and whenever that may be. So, in order to try and help our teachers and support workers, we’ve compiled a few steps and pieces of advice from Team EP to help guide you through this process and prepare yourself for working life in the new normal.
1. Take care of yourself
This seems like an obvious step, but a return to working-life may be somewhat of an upheaval at first, so it’s important to avoid burn-out by looking after yourself properly. The truth is that as a teacher, educator or support worker of any kind, you are often likely to put the wellbeing of others ahead of your own. But the only way you can effectively support others is by first prioritising yourself. Make time to relax, spend time reading a good book, and perhaps take a walk in a green space- any activity that will allow you some much deserved peace and quiet.
2. Ease back in
If the thought of returning to work is causing you stress and anxiety, perhaps you could try to ease back into working life gradually to allow yourself time to readjust. Whether this means only doing a handful of days per week rather than the full 5, or only a half day here and there while you adjust to the return to early mornings, supply work can provide the flexibility to ease you back into full-time work- or to support you in the transition to a new temporary work lifestyle.
3. Reach out
If you have any worries, doubts or queries regarding your return to schools, it’s important that these are communicated: whether to your friends and family, your school, or your agency. A lot of the fears around returning to working in schools seem founded on the uncertainty and lack of information, so when you do return to work in a school again it may ease your fears to know exactly what will be expected of you at that particular school. Be sure to ask for clarification on guidelines and regulations in the school, and you’re sure to feel much more at ease. Equally, if you are feeling stressed or anxious about any aspect of the return to work, we at Education People are only a phone call away- after all, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Right now, we don’t know what the future holds; whether summer schools will open, or blended learning and home-schooling will continue, or whether guidance will change to give way to something completely different. But we want you to know that we are still here for you. Now more than ever, the world recognises the vitality of teachers, educators and support workers, and the crucial role they will play in restarting and rebuilding the education of children across the country. These are difficult and uncertain times for us all, but they will not last forever. Schools will open their doors again, and we will be ready to support your return to work whenever they do.
If you would like to discuss future roles we have on offer, register your interest in joining our team or just fancy a chat, give us a call on 0117 325 1516, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe!