Office HoursPeopleSpiegeloog 406: The Unknown

Office Hours: Lotte Lebbink

By September 4, 2020 No Comments

For this month’s office hours, Spiegeloog talked to Lotte Lebbink, a tutorial teacher in Psychology at the UvA. She obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degree at the UvA, specializing in Training & Development during her master’s. Additionally, she is a freelance trainer for individuals and teams, and she also develops workshops on stress prevention. 

How do you stay organized during the COVID-19 situation? 

‘I actually love that my time is not that strictly organized now, and there’s no need to, because I can be productive when I feel like it. Of course, for some activities like grading assignments, where there’s a deadline, I make sure that I keep the organized rhythm at least a few days before the deadline. I try to keep that rhythm nevertheless, which mostly means getting up quite early and finishing the work early as well. So, at the end of the day, I can still feel that I enjoyed the whole day, and have energy for the next day. I also got used to some other habits, for example I have the rule that when I have my first coffee, I start working – I try to condition myself with certain stuff. These rules and habits make working online less difficult.’

 

How does quarantine affect you personally?

‘It affects me in certain hobbies – for instance, doing triathlon. Normally, I do a lot of training for this, including going to the gym or swimming pool, both of which I can’t access now, so at the beginning of quarantine, I felt very restricted regarding this. Also, I am a very extraverted person, I get a lot of energy from a room full of people. Of course, there was no moment like that in the past few months, so this has affected me mentally as well. However, I tried to make the best of these restrictions in some way, for instance taking long walks with friends made my extraverted self quite happy, because I could be very open about how I felt. Also, I am lucky to have a roommate with whom I really bonded.’

 

What would be your advice for other tutorial teachers so they can stay as positive as you do?

‘For me personally, it is helpful to make sure that every day is a useful day. For example, my job currently takes me less time than normal, which makes it easy to have a day where I don’t need to do anything. Rather, I space it out and feel good about my work. Also, I would recommend for everyone teaching to stay in contact with their students. So, not only posting online, but also seeing the faces of their students. This makes for a nice interaction, and a teacher grasps better who they do the work for. That’s also what I love about the ZOOM meetings – being able to answer and ask questions directly, and having immediate feedback from students. This keeps me going.’

 

What have we all learnt from the teaching during quarantine?

‘I liked that the University made it clear that it is supportive during these times of crisis. The Psychology Department showed an interest in the teachers and tried to check how they were doing, but also whether they had some tips on teaching online in a different and perhaps more efficient way. I think that they also published the handbook on teaching, and this was aimed to spark some inspiration on how teachers can do things differently. I think everyone is kind of obliged to be more creative and try new ways of testing whether students are on track or keeping the students motivated. I hope that this creativity will stick around even after quarantine.’  

How do you stay organized during the COVID-19 situation? 

‘I actually love that my time is not that strictly organized now, and there’s no need to, because I can be productive when I feel like it. Of course, for some activities like grading assignments, where there’s a deadline, I make sure that I keep the organized rhythm at least a few days before the deadline. I try to keep that rhythm nevertheless, which mostly means getting up quite early and finishing the work early as well. So, at the end of the day, I can still feel that I enjoyed the whole day, and have energy for the next day. I also got used to some other habits, for example I have the rule that when I have my first coffee, I start working – I try to condition myself with certain stuff. These rules and habits make working online less difficult.’

 

How does quarantine affect you personally?

‘It affects me in certain hobbies – for instance, doing triathlon. Normally, I do a lot of training for this, including going to the gym or swimming pool, both of which I can’t access now, so at the beginning of quarantine, I felt very restricted regarding this. Also, I am a very extraverted person, I get a lot of energy from a room full of people. Of course, there was no moment like that in the past few months, so this has affected me mentally as well. However, I tried to make the best of these restrictions in some way, for instance taking long walks with friends made my extraverted self quite happy, because I could be very open about how I felt. Also, I am lucky to have a roommate with whom I really bonded.’

 

What would be your advice for other tutorial teachers so they can stay as positive as you do?

‘For me personally, it is helpful to make sure that every day is a useful day. For example, my job currently takes me less time than normal, which makes it easy to have a day where I don’t need to do anything. Rather, I space it out and feel good about my work. Also, I would recommend for everyone teaching to stay in contact with their students. So, not only posting online, but also seeing the faces of their students. This makes for a nice interaction, and a teacher grasps better who they do the work for. That’s also what I love about the ZOOM meetings – being able to answer and ask questions directly, and having immediate feedback from students. This keeps me going.’

 

What have we all learnt from the teaching during quarantine?

‘I liked that the University made it clear that it is supportive during these times of crisis. The Psychology Department showed an interest in the teachers and tried to check how they were doing, but also whether they had some tips on teaching online in a different and perhaps more efficient way. I think that they also published the handbook on teaching, and this was aimed to spark some inspiration on how teachers can do things differently. I think everyone is kind of obliged to be more creative and try new ways of testing whether students are on track or keeping the students motivated. I hope that this creativity will stick around even after quarantine.’  

Milena Kaprálová

Author Milena Kaprálová

Milena (1999) is a first year psychology student, interested in how biology and psychology inform one another. She is an open science enthusiast and likes to write about subjective experience.

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