Faculty Focus: Innovating with Pandemic Paradoxes: Turning On Our ‘Inner Teacher’
Originally found at Faculty Focus by Long Le
Before the pandemic, the work-life of a teacher involved a seesaw of competing, conflicting, and contradictory demands. Not surprisingly, a number of us wished we had more time and resources to purposefully manage our personal and professional development.
Now, as we face the dynamic nature of different COVID-19 challenges, our work-life seesaw seems to be nearing the ‘edge of chaos,’ if not already there. Thus, just to be able to keep-on-teaching and accomplish the jobs-to-be-done—while caring for ourselves, families, colleagues, and students—are victories in themselves. Despite the uncertainty that has affected our ability to teach, we have become resilient and compassionate teachers.
Therefore, at the start of another school year impacted by COVID-19, we should entertain the idea that it is possible to not only be resilient but also to innovate as the pandemic classroom reveals unpredictable scenarios.
Evidence shows that we can unlock and leverage opposing demands and tensions, according to the paradox community researchers (Miron-Spector et al., 2018). That is, professionals in the pandemic crisis have proactively turned to paradox thinking to effectively navigate and inventively solve work-life tensions and boundaries (Pradies et al., 2021). For example, instead of seeing a trade off between a resilient teacher (i.e. to avoid failure in pandemic teaching) and a teacher-designer (i.e. to innovate learning in pandemic teaching), we could pivot towards accepting both competing values to be true. In doing so, the “both-and” outlook could become a new profound truth that can open up integrative solutions to our current paradoxical problems (Miron-Spektor and Smith, 2020).
Continue reading the original article at Faculty Focus
Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal
- Read the accompanying Insights summary: Contradictions at Work? Adopt a “Paradox Mindset”
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