This week’s #EdublogsClub prompt is about challenging situations, and at the end of a long weekend where I’ve spent more than fifteen hours putting together an inquiry-based project magazine on Canva, it seems an appropriate conversation to have.  It has definitely been a challenging weekend.

I know many of my colleagues who would … well, they would just look at me in that way they have, gently scolding me for spending so much time on work when it is truly gorgeous outside.  They’re not wrong …

… but they’re not right either.

Yes, this weekend has been overwhelmingly school-focused.  Canva – at least, when you’re attempting to recreate in magazine format the steps for a semester-long cross-curricular inquiry project – has a steep learning curve.  Perhaps that wouldn’t be the case for someone who isn’t as visual a person as I am (or who is more so), or for someone who has less of an at-times debilitating tendency towards perfectionism … but for me, it was a long and frustrating journey.

And yet – now that it’s done – I look at what I’ve created and think, “Wow.”  I sent it to another teacher involved in the planning process for our unit (my student teacher, in fact – she is teaching the class for the first five weeks of the semester, and then I’ll be taking them back, so we collaborated with my Science/Math colleague on developing the unit), and she called it “visually stunning.”  That felt pretty good.

We have a tendency to think of challenging as a bad thing – she’s a challenging student, it’s a challenging situation, where “challenging” is a synonym for “difficult.”  Maybe it’s time to reclaim the word, where it symbolises something that is demanding and formidable, certainly; but also “stretching, exciting, stimulating” (Google definition and synonyms).

So yes.  I had a challenging weekend … in all the best ways.