This leaped off the page at me for learning centers. I love my learning center, and one of the things I love about it is its unpredictability. What with our student population facing transportation and childcare barriers, our entirely unpaid teaching staff, and our geographic propensity for extreme weather conditions (last Thursday it was -10 outside), there’s a whole lot of unpredictability. Unfortunately, many of the surprises end up being challenges: absences of people or materials; having planning take longer than you thought (doesn’t it always?); feeling more tired than you thought you would.
It’s kind of a forehead-smacker that a coordinator can (partially) take control by making a few surprises, and making them positive ones. A card, a balloon, a tasty treat, a “congratulations” for x number of hours spent at the learning center. Duh – but I’m not sure it would’ve occurred to me in those terms. Thanks, Seth!
I guess the catch is that lack of time tends to be one of the challenging surprises that comes up repeatedly for me, and contriving positive surprises takes time. Yet another matter of achieving a delicate balance.
How do you balance the need to control/fix unpleasant surprises and to create pleasant ones?