Good enough is good enough.

A physicist would tell you that it would be illogical to expect a non-sentient life form to change its behaviour based simply on passing a particular point on an arbitrary time scale… which is why they’re not often invited to parties. And so it is that 2021 carries on in much the way that 2020 ended, but that is no reason for the podcast not to celebrate all that’s good about the physics teaching community.

Thomas and Robin return to talk survival as we lock down again. With many teachers now doing hybrid teaching, we discuss strategies for keeping sane.

First up, if you are preparing lessons that colleagues will use, a few minutes invested in a ‘ReadMe’ to help colleagues understand what you were thinking when you planned it.

Oak National Academy is a resource that was put together by teachers to help you, so do use it – it probably won’t be what you would choose to do, but it’s good enough if it saves your sanity.

Thomas makes the point that students respond better to seeing their teacher online, and recommends OBS to those of you with a techie leaning (I’ve heard there may be some of you). This allows you to do lots of clever stuff with video and audio feeds from their PC.

Quizlet, Kahoot and Plickers are all great online tools for assessment and students like them. If you are using Teams you probably have access to MS Forms which are a really effective way of setting work and giving instant assessment and feedback.

Lean on textbooks and online resources – in normal times you may create a lot of resources from scratch because you don’t feel the textbook hits quite the right tome, but for now it’s probably good enough. Thomas mentions potential copyright problems so do check with your school’s policies and whether you are licenced to reproduce limited pages of a textbook.

Check out the resources section of your favourite podcast (see above) for lots of helpful stuff, including Thomas’s latest SIM of the experiment to find Planck’s constant.

Finally, a huge THANK YOU for all you are doing to keep physics alive during these times. One thing we can all agree on is that it’s not ideal, so please just make sure you are keeping safe, healthy and well and that you allow yourself a few quick wins to keep yourself together during this.

Happy New Year to you all

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Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember), you could even email us an autio file if you are feeling really keen.

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