The element of “complication” works its way into everyone’s life everyday, whether at work or play. In education this takes so many forms it couldn’t possibly be listed in one place. My own strategy for dealing with the complications of work and play is very simplistic. I almost always go back to basics. This might include decreasing my screen time and reading more, making sure to unplug from work at home, stop getting fancy with my fitness, simplify my diet, concentrate on physical and mental recovery…stuff like that.
Ben Bergeron talks about simplifying complex systems (he’s referring mostly to training, but I think it crosses all realms) and recommends breaking things down into what you can control and what you can’t control. For example, in the things we can control daily as educators we might have:
- Our own nutrition, health, and fitness (this is huge…you’re no good to anyone when you’re sick and unhealthy)
- Our reactions and responses
- Our own learning
- The culture of our classrooms
- How we treat people
In the realm of complicationville we might have:
- The upset parent who you didn’t know what coming in
- The kid who said they just threw up that morning but mom sent them in anyway
- The bad weather on field trip day
- The wifi going out
I could go on and on. The point is, when things get full of complications, it’s time to scale back to basics. Care for each other, take time for yourself and family, and move with intention.