5 Tips to Avoid Virtual Learning Burnout
By Rayyan El-Baf
We’re in the final stretch of the school year! While the end of this year’s virtual learning is coming to an end, it’s still the primary method of schooling. Both parents and teens would agree that being online all the time is taxing, which is why we spoke to Alicia Cuzner, a teacher and course developer at Ontario Virtual School, about how students can avoid burnout.
Although online learning can be challenging, it can actually be beneficial for teens because it provides them with a more flexible schedule, helps them practice time management, and gives them experience for post-secondary school, which operates in-class and virtually. While it can be frustrating for parents, Cuzner says you can support your teen by not hovering over them too much and instead, motivate them by keeping a schedule of important dates and assisting them in making a long-term plan to achieve realistic and manageable goals.
While we don’t know what next year will look like in terms of online and in-class learning, Cuzner offers these five tips to help your teen get through this year and avoid burnout.
Create a work schedule to break up tasks throughout the day.
“Some schools have live classes, but generally the teacher’s lessons are around 30 minutes and then you have independent work. Independent work can sometimes make a student feel overwhelmed because they don’t know how to start or need motivation. If you break up the work into little chunks, it’s easier to complete the tasks on time. At OVS, all our lessons are pre-recorded so you can watch them whenever you like. Student’s use this to their advantage to schedule a time to watch the lessons in the evenings or weekends when they have more free time.”
Set up a proper workstation – like a home office!
“You don’t always have to work at a desk but try to keep all your work in one location. This way everything is set up and ready to go when you are starting your day.”
Incorporate mini movements into your day
“With the pandemic, the general population is not moving enough. This can directly impact your learning because your mind is working too hard and your body can cramp up. If you have a dog you can take it for a walk or do a five-minute stretch or do a quick circuit of active moments.”
Don’t be afraid to take breaks
“When you are working from home, it can be hard to get your mind engaged in learning. However, if you’re feeling behind in work, you may feel a sense of guilt to take a break. Never beat yourself up over taking a break! It’s your body telling you to rest. Positive self-talk is always good to practice when you’re learning online. Usually, in a classroom, you would have classmates or a teacher encouraging you to keep your head up, but now you have to be your own cheerleader. This is a great skill to have when student’s go off to post-secondary school.”
Get a full night’s sleep
“Online learning is very flexible, and this can be a great thing, or it can make you develop poor sleeping habits by working too late. Sleep is essential for memory and focusing. Give yourself a bedtime and a bedtime routine to help you fall asleep.”
Every teen is different when it comes to finding motivation for school. Touch base with your teen and address what their concerns are and try to create a learning environment at home that provides them with better motivation and a positive outlook.