What can we learn about the decision to close schools in the UK?
Sometimes it is the circumstances around us at work that drive our poor mental health. This can certainly be the case during a global pandemic …
Close or not close?
I’ve been thinking more about it over the past week as our UK schools face the difficult challenge of staying open or closed to students and parents. While this is an unprecedented decision at the national level, pressure on individual principals is a first in a generation. Sometimes the best option is to have less or no choice. As a result, it reduces our fear and increases our satisfaction.
In a podcast last week, a school principal said they wanted more reliable government decisions, better leadership, and closer communication with schools. especially after a decade of distrust. The difficulty was exacerbated by lack of clarity, guidance, and convenience. Headmasters were forced to make life or death decisions for their staff, students, and parents. For example, here are some of the questions I received when the coronavirus outbreak started on March 18, 2020:
- Should a headmaster close the school?
- Who are critical workers?
- Should I send pregnant teachers home?
- What should special schools do if all students are at risk and the teaching staff isolate themselves?
- What should school leaders do with their care teachers now?
- Why do teachers work under difficult circumstances without safety equipment?
More choice = dissatisfaction
The more choices we have, the happier we think we are, but sometimes the opposite is true: the bigger the choice, the higher our expectations. The problem with making too many decisions is that we may feel that we are making the wrong choice. As psychology professor Barry Schwartz (2005) says, minimize your decisions because the more options you juggle in your head, the more dissatisfied you will be. This can apply to teaching strategies or possible resources for use in the classroom as well as to your personal life.
If I could give everyone a few quick tips during this difficult time, this would be:
- Only do the tasks that make a difference. make and make fewer decisions
- Plan the core needs, stick to a routine, and stick to it
- Avoid fake news: Visit official organizations for the latest information
- Contact someone if you have problems or need a soundboard to get advice
- Take the time you have left to log out and think.
When schools approach Easter 2020, we now need clarity from the government and teaching unions and the decision to stay open or closed during Easter.
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