20 Questions to Ask Instead of How Are You Doing Right Now

Over the past few weeks, the question “How are you doing?” has been asked many times of me and by me to others.  But truthfully, the question is so broad that the answers are normally “okay”, “not too bad”, “rough”, etc. and we do not make a true connection.

Elizabeth Wingarten, @elizabethw723, shared 20 questions to ask instead of “How are you doing right now?”.  

Eleven of the questions are focused on making those true connections such as: 

  • How are you taking care of yourself today?
  • What surprising thing have you been stocking up on (that isn’t toilet paper)?
  • What problem – either yours, or something more global – do you wish you could solve?

The remaining nine questions take the connection deeper such as:

  • What times of the day or the week are hardest?
  • What’s the best thing that has happened to you today?
  • How do you want this experience to change you?  How do you think it will?  

One of the questions that jumped out when reading the list was “What times of the day or the week are hardest?”. I added this question to my journal, which I started during this force quarantine, and decided to answer. In the beginning of the quarantine, my answer would have been every day, all day! Why? My normal 8 hour work day quickly turned into a 20 hour work day and I felt that I could not accomplish what needed to get done for work let alone my family.

I have realized (maybe like some of you) during this time, that I crave a schedule to focus my work and home life. Without a schedule and list, I have often become frustrated with myself which was affecting my health and well-being. One tip I have found is that if I make my schedule loosely developed to account for the foreseen changes in my day required by work and family, things run more smoothly.

Today, answering the same question, “What is the hardest part of your week?” I have found the hardest time is at the beginning of the school week when the new lessons are posted on our districts remote learning web pages. Why? Because much of my time is spent supporting the teachers I am helping by ensuring that all their links function correctly, permissions have been set for all to access, and that their videos have been closed captioned to support students and parents who have hearing different abilities. My new normal is now becoming more comfortable. My expectations are reasonable and I have a schedule.

By writing in a journal using guided questions like those shared by Elizabeth, I am taking the time needed to reflect, something that was not previously a part of my day. It has helped me to better understand my feelings and support the teams I work with in my district, friends and family.

An added plus– I now have plans to use many of these questions in upcoming meetings.

Here is your challenge!

After reading all twenty questions in Elizabeth’s blog post, what question(s) will you ask yourself and/or others?

I look forward to reading your responses to one or more of the questions below in comments.

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April Chamberlain

April is a Content Expert and Connected Coach for Powerful Learning Practice. From a young age she knew she wanted to be a teacher. She taught elementary students for ten years before becoming the technology teacher for a 3-5 school servicing 1,000+ students. April became the District Technology Integration Specialist supporting all K-12 teachers in her district. After seven years, she had the opportunity to become the Technology and School Library Coordinator where she now works with both the technical and instructional teams to support learning. She is passionate about developing learning resources and opportunities to support all learners of different abilities.

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