Teachers, I think we can all agree that teaching is a rewarding experience that can give us the power to brighten someone’s day. While this may be true, you may begin to notice that as you move through the food chain in your online English company you will begin to experience some moments of adversity… sleep deprivation is the most prevalent.
Our colleagues sometimes forget to mention some of the evils of teaching English online when they help us join a new platform. And sure. Why wouldn’t they? Teaching from the comfort of your home, anywhere in the world, and getting paid great based on your schedule is one of the biggest luxuries I have ever experienced from any job. If teaching English online is your side job or a relaxed job for you, meaning that money isn’t that big of a necessity for you to survive… then you are extremely blessed. In comparison, there are people like me who do need it to finance certain goals which will require hectic graveyard shifts. That’s when things get tricky.
In my journey of teaching online 7 days a week with 10-12-hour work days, I concluded what the number one evil of teaching English online is…. and that is losing sleep! I know what you are thinking… “but you’re home Mariann, deal with it!” While that is true, try being extremely exhausted at 4AM and having to perform at your maximum effort in a class teaching a three-year-old! If you know, then you know. In fact, through lack of sleep not only does this affect your health and your physical appearance, but it impacts the quality of your lessons and potential for future bookings. I have found myself in breaking points at 3 AM where I am about to fall asleep waiting for the lesson to begin, and I’m just praying that the class will be a no show so I can go lay down.
So here are some tips on how to deal with sleep deprivation while teaching English online:
- Plan ahead: It is so important to have an idea of what you want your schedule to look like. Plan ahead at months at a time so you do not have issues with your company when it comes to taking days or popular time slots off. Eventually, you will need days off so make sure you create a plan to have them.
- Maintain Healthy Habits: Exercise and eat healthily! This is pretty self-explanatory, but it is a known fact that healthy eating and fitness diets release endorphins into your body that not only keep you positive but also help you get more rested sleep.
and the best tip of all…….
- Plan Naps: Naps are the key to graveyard shift schedules. Based on your time zone, you will have either a very hectic or a very neutral schedule throughout the day/evening. Taking a nap to recharge your strength in between classes or after classes not only helps you continue your day productively but also adds to the hours of missed sleep that you may not be getting.
Teaching English online has been a process of trial and error for me. I have felt frustrated, tired, unattractive, helpless, etc. while experiencing failure. Still, I have also experienced great success and recognition that will always overweight the cons. I hope that in talking about this I can bring awareness to new and old teachers in the online English world so they know they’re not alone in this and that there is always a way to get through this.