How I Am Navigating the Strict Lockdown in China

By Altiné Moumouni
While the rest of the world almost forgot about the Covid 19 pandemic, there is a surge of covid cases in China, particularly in the city I live in, Guangzhou. Currently, we are under strict lockdown.  In this article, I want to share a few tips, especially for those in the same situation. The situation […]

While the rest of the world almost forgot about the Covid 19 pandemic, there is a surge of covid cases in China, particularly in the city I live in, Guangzhou. Currently, we are under strict lockdown. 

In this article, I want to share a few tips, especially for those in the same situation. The situation is still scary and unstable as it was in 2019 worldwide. 

The current situation in Guangzhou

Everything is closed, including gyms, yoga schools, public parks, malls, and restaurants. Some subway stations are closed, and most of the city is empty. Keep in mind that most restaurants accept take out and you can order online depending on whether you live in a high-risk area or not. 

Also, depending on the area, most schools moved to online classes. I have been teaching online for over a month now. And it has been hard to keep all students motivated and engaged, mainly because nobody knows when this situation will end. 

So how do I keep myself and my students motivated?

I am known to be one of the most rigorous teachers, but I decided to become more understanding and compassionate in this situation. I added to my learning objectives: 

  • Make sure all students are in stable mental states
  • Be more understanding: If any student does not do his or her homework, I ask why. I found out that a few students are living in hotels by themselves
  • I wanted to make my online classes something students look forward to
  • I constantly communicate with all students: The most widely used messaging app is WeChat

It is not only about studying; it is about students’ well-being

I start every class by asking my students how they are doing. When I ask questions, I don’t wait for students to answer; I address them individually by trying to comfort them. 

I praise and reward students for being able to attend a 7:40 am online class. I constantly tell students that I am proud of them for completing their homework and participating in class. 

I increase my availability for students: At the end of every class, I tell all my students that they can contact me anytime if they have questions or just want to chat. I know most of the students have busy parents and often don’t have anyone to talk to. 

I am more positive, calm, and caring toward all students and the current situation. During one of my online classes, I asked a student how she was doing. She said, “I am sad” I followed by asking her why? She said that she was sad because she couldn’t see her friends. 

To comfort her, I tell her about my experiences dealing with uncertainty and my coping strategies, which can help make all students feel less alone and provide them with guidance for handling difficult situations by themselves. 

I spent almost 2 years in China without seeing my family and friends, and I shared a few ideas on staying in touch with her friends during lockdowns. 

I know that students look at us teachers during difficult times to be positive role models for them. How we handle our fears and stress and act throughout the day greatly impacts how students perform in class.  

I take care of myself by eating healthy, staying active, and having enough sleep

Every day after my class, I go for long walks and runs in my area. My area is not strictly locked, as we can still go out. A friend of mine who lives in a different part of the city has his building locked. They are not allowed to leave their buildings.

In addition, I start cooking to ensure that I eat healthy food. I generally cook on Sundays for two or three days.

Furthermore, I am working to keep my routine stable and consistent, and I try to go to bed around 10:00 pm and wake up at 6:00 am. I also make time to read and call friends and colleagues (mostly new teachers who joined us recently) in the same situation to check on them. 

I also installed a pull-up bar in my apartment and bought a jump rope to exercise at home. At the time I am writing this article, we don’t have any information as to when this lockdown will be lifted and when we will be back to teaching in person.

Please let me know in the comments section below if you have any suggestions, or questions, and maybe share your experience. 

Written by Altiné Moumouni for Teflnet November 2022
Altiné is from Toronto, Canada, and currently teaches mathematics at a high school in Guangzhou, China. He has a master's degree in International Economics and Finance from Ryerson University in Canada and is passionate about helping people worldwide through his blogs. He writes about TEFL Teaching and Health and Fitness. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, running, traveling, and anything that allows him to experience the beauty of nature. You can find him at altinify.com.
© Teflnet

Leave a comment