Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends
So, here we are, back for a second semester of emergency online teaching, during a pandemic. And it's difficult. Very difficult. This is a situation nobody asked for, and we all have to get through it as best we can.
You may have struggled with online learning last semester. I certainly struggled with online teaching, particularly balancing my family responsibilities with my teaching duties. I'm only teaching one course this semester, because frankly, I couldn't teach more than that to the standards that I set myself, and my students expect. So don't forget, if you are in difficulties with anything, reach out to somebody. Ask for help. Don't try to tough it out on your own. That goes for academic work, health, relationships and everything else.
Advice for the new semester. This applies any semester, but especially now.
Get all your tasks, and deadlines into your calendar. Look at your course outlines to see which tasks carry the most marks, and prioritize them.
Just as importantly, schedule time for self-care, exercise, leisure activities, and down time. Your mental and physical health are the most important thing. Courses can be retaken, health is much more difficult to recover. Do follow all public health guidelines, mask wearing, minimizing contacts and the like. A collective effort is needed to beat the virus, and the science behind these measures is sound.
The title is a Shakespeare quotation from Henry V, Part II, and refers to a military conflict. We have an equally challenging struggle with the pandemic, and we need to call on all our internal reserves of strength, resilience and determination to beat it. But we should all recognize that we don't have to do this alone, and we can help each other.
So, good luck with your studies. You are doing amazingly, under very trying circumstances.