What exactly is considered productive during a pandemic? I think we need to seriously reconsider what that is supposed to look like when there is a house full people. Even though I am perfectly capable of taking a book or a laptop into another room, I don’t. I find myself looking at statistics and watching the news. Then I ask myself, “When have I ever watched or read more than headlines unless it has to do with an education policy?” Now. At this time is when.
Yesterday is a blur. I know I read a little of Glasser’s Quality School, which my further research online has helped me discover Choice Theory’s basic needs. Choice theory psychology states the following (copied from the website):
- All we do is behave
- Almost all behavior is chosen, and
- We are driven by our genes to satisfy five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun.
- We can only satisfy our needs by matching the pictures in our Quality World. These pictures motivate our behavior.
- In practice, the most important need is love and belonging, as closeness and connectedness with the people we care about is a requisite for satisfying all of the needs.
I know very little about this theory, having been introduced recently to Glasser, but I find these points interesting. The two points I bolded are my world right now.
What does survival look like? Survival is having food, toilet paper, and other supplies. But it is also being able to focus on work-related tasks such as writing, planning, grading, and meeting. I am seriously considering upgrading my Pandora to the ultra supreme version, but for now I will try the Pandora Plus free trial.
What about freedom and fun? We have board games and cards. Teaching the 13-year old to play Euchre was fun. But he’s not free. None of us are. My son played basketball in the neighbor’s driveway last night when my neighbor gave the all clear. He used his own basketball. My husband paces and is thinking about going into an empty facility to his closet office. My college daughter wanted to make plans to see a friend today. My senior daughter works at a veterinary hospital, which still needs people to show up.
My senior. I know she had no plans to attend prom or other senior functions. Those types of social events make her uncomfortable. But what else is she missing just by not being in the hallways and classrooms at school?
Basic needs. In the meantime, the world has toppled upside down.
My first online version of a face-to-face class is this afternoon. It will be the first of several weeks until the term ends in May. On the first day of class in January, students shared what they were looking forward to this semester (not necessarily in my class). One student was excited about a study abroad trip to Italy. A few students are preparing to graduate in May. I cannot make that trip happen or ensure commencement will look or feel the same if it is planned for a later date.
What I can offer is belonging. We are together in this struggle to complete classes, but it’s about all I have in me right now.