Sunshine in a Time of Crisis

Spring Break 2020 – not the relaxing holiday I was anticipating.

March 17 – Minister Rob Fleming

On March 17th the provincial government announced that all in-class instruction was being suspended indefinitely throughout BC. School districts were suddenly being tasked with turning our primarily face-to-face teaching paradigm on its head — to move everyone into a virtual teaching platform by the end of Spring Break.

To be clear — we were not being asked to move the entire district to an on-line platform. We were not creating a system of on-line teachers and learners. We were being tasked with creating remote learning during a crisis.

There’s a difference.

Does Feeling Guilt Make Us a Better Person?

I feel guilt — most of us do.

Some of us likely cope with it better than others. I’m not too sure where I fit on the coping scale — Do I worry more than others? Does it interfere with my ability to move forward? Does it limit my ability to grow and become better?

Guilt permeates both my personal and professional worlds. I think I feel the most guilt when I’ve been neglectful about something. Here’s an example of what I mean …

I feel guilt when I do not send an acknowledgement to others for good work that they’ve done on an issue — a teacher for their efforts on a special event in their building — an administrator for their leadership on an important instructional topic — an office colleague for the extra work I see them do to make the system better.

The Struggle is Real

A typical moment in my professional life:

I’m at my desk deep in thought — maybe it’s a budget issue, perhaps a community concern, or maybe an organizational dilemma that needs a creative solution. I’m stuck.

It can feel like my brain’s gears are seized or conversely like my wheels are spinning in mud — it’s an immovable tension of struggling to find a solution.

Neuroscientists have learned that the act of struggling is actually an important part of the learning process. Struggling with a problem results in increased neural connections being formed in your brain. The act of struggling forces your brain to develop new networks — bridging the old to the new.