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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Frnka

The Role of Discipline and Teaching Online

The kind of discipline that you need working from home is slightly different than what is required at school.

Initially, I thought about discussing the temptations of running to grab the clothes from the dryer or starting dinner or running to the store to grab a gallon of milk and the various distractions that can fill our day because our children are at home while we are working, but I decided that you will probably figure out how to manage all of those things fairly quickly.

As educators we sometimes take on extremely personal battles for our students and almost become more involved with them than their own parents. I want to remind you that you have beautiful littles in your home and while you are providing an incredible example of what it means to be selfless, it is important to keep your own family at the center. Before you take off to save the world, stop to ensure that they are in a good place and taken care of. Pay attention to indicators of people shutting down or having short fuses. When these things become apparent it’s time to re-calibrate and discipline yourself to show up for your family.

When my husband was in the military we would joke that if the Army wanted him to have a family they would have issued him one. I didn’t exactly understand it then and I still don’t exactly understand it now, but it seems to fit here. You have, we all have been issued a family whether it’s a married with children family, married and still waiting, single with children, or single and still waiting. Each of us have people who are incredibly close to us who need us to preserve our strength, so that we can be emotionally available to them. While, it is important to be there for your students, it is equally important to set up boundaries.

Consider communicating to your families a schedule that ends by 5 pm each day, so that you can have the evening with your own family. Remember your own children are “schooling” at home whether it’s virtual or home and some of you have babies 4 and under who absolutely require undivided attention.

If you absolutely need to log back in then consider doing it after everyone has gone to bed or get up an hour or two early in the morning.

Once you get into the groove consider creating a daily task chart that is housed on the desktop of your computer with the links to high priority daily tasks. There is an example of this linked here.

Most of what we do in the program I work for is linked within our system, but at times it can be a bit daunting on the way to the links or toggling between our system, the google drive and my spreadsheets. I can get distracted or overwhelmed or frustrated because suddenly I cannot remember what a document is called or where x procedure is stored. This happens most frequently when I am tired or moving faster than my brain can process.

I have found that the daily tasks sheet helps me to work at a higher more effective level. The example document does appear to contain hyperlinks, but they have all been deactivated.

In addition, you may not be completely prepared for little Johnny not logging in or contacting you. Most of you have worked with your students nearly everyday for the past 8 months. And, now it’s time to get started back to school, but this time it’s online and little Johnny doesn’t have a computer or internet or he has moved to Grandma’s. Or maybe little Johnny contacts you for a week or two, but suddenly falls off the planet.

I want to encourage you to stay calm. Little Johnny will be okay and you will too.

Absolutely, follow the attendance procedures for your school and allow your administrators and counselors to work with little Johnny and his family. We love our students so incredibly much and we want so badly for them to receive a beautiful, wonderful, high-quality education and more than anything we want them to know they are safe and feel loved. At this time though, we will serve our students, ourselves, and our own family best if we concentrate our efforts on the students who are consistently engaged.

We can continue to reach out to little Johnny and send him light and love with the hope that he will safely return knowing that we will have the strength to welcome him in and the discipline to consistently engage with him to get him back on track, if necessary.

We will discuss setting up your workspace tomorrow.

Y’all have a beautiful day!

All My Love,


To view more Get Strong with Jen! Education Resources click here.


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