A few weeks ago, over a cup of coffee a friend of mine shared her sugar addiction with me. She was in the middle of a really challenging time where she felt sugar was getting the best of her. As she shared with me the details of what this addiction was doing to her, I was uncomfortable listening to her share her struggles.
As I drove home later, I reflected on what it was about the conversation that made me feel so uncomfortable. First, I think it was about seeing her struggle and be in pain and feeling helpless to support her. Upon further reflection, I realized we all love to hear a story of struggle with a happy ending. And almost daily we hear stories of struggles with happy endings; the struggle to lose weight, the struggle to love yourself, the struggle to overcome an addiction. But when we hear these stories, we are hearing the after, the resolution, the ending. We want to hear about the time you fell face first in the mud, wiped yourself off and got up. But we often gloss over what it felt like to be face first in the mud with mud in our ears, eyes and mouth. We want to get to the good stuff, to celebrate that you cleaned yourself off and stood up.
We seem to be going through this right now in the teaching world in B.C. We have many new things that we are facing. We have a new curriculum, new reporting order, new self-assessment of core competencies and new report card template. Add to that, in our district we also have new portal (communication platform), email system and e-portfolios. This is a lot of new and people are at different places with their comfort level and knowledge of all the new. This is not a time to gloss over our struggles, our fears or our time in the mud. Let’s not wait for the happy ending to share what we are going through as we are faced with all this newness. Come together and really share our struggles and support each other as we embrace the new and try things we have never done before.