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A weekly periodical
  • Writer's pictureallisonjolester

Struggles and Strifes: A Practitioner Researcher's Rollercoaster Ride!



Greetings fellow educators, truth-seekers, and brave souls venturing into the wild and exhilarating world of practitioner research! Before we embark on this journey, remember, it's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves... especially when that mountain is disguised as an overflowing inbox of unread research papers.


Let's jump right in! Here are some of the most common struggles, pitfalls, and frustratingly tear-your-hair-out moments when taking on the noble task of practitioner research.


1. The Dreaded Data Dilemma

First on our joyous journey of calamities is the "Dreaded Data Dilemma". This is the equivalent of taking an excursion to the Sahara Desert with a spoon to dig for water.


As a new practitioner researcher, the question isn't so much "To data or not to data?" but more like "How do I avoid getting buried alive by an avalanche of data?" You want enough data to support your research but not so much that you lose your sanity—or worse, the office under a mound of papers and spreadsheets.


2. The Reality vs. Expectation Conundrum

Next up, we have the “Reality vs. Expectation Conundrum”. This is the point where your daydream of standing victorious atop Research Mountain, basking in the glow of newfound knowledge, meets the reality of sweat, toil, and late-night coffee marathons.


There will be a time (or, well, several times) when you realize that the smooth ride you envisioned is more of a rollercoaster with unexpected twists and turns. When that happens, just buckle up, grip the safety bar, and remember: what goes down must eventually come up, right?


3. Juggling Jeopardy

Now, let’s talk about “Juggling Jeopardy”. The role of a practitioner researcher is like trying to juggle flaming torches while riding a unicycle on a tightrope... over a pit of rabid crocodiles. AKA – it’s a lot.

Teachers, especially new ones, often grapple with balancing teaching, personal life, and their research. It's like trying to balance your diet while being a judge on a cake competition. One wrong move and you're facedown in the frosting.


4. The Terrifying Thesis Threat

Let's not forget the "Terrifying Thesis Threat". Just hearing the word ‘thesis’ can be enough to induce cold sweats and sleepless nights. The idea of synthesizing all your research into one coherent, persuasive argument is akin to trying to build a ship in a bottle... blindfolded... using only your left hand.


5. The Dealing with Doubt Syndrome

Lastly, we have the "Dealing with Doubt Syndrome". Being new to practitioner research, doubts will creep in. "Am I doing this right?" "Is my research even significant?" "Why do I suddenly have an urge to become a goat herder in the Alps?"


Hey, we’ve all been there, trust me. But take a deep breath and know that doubt is a part of the process. After all, even Shakespeare probably questioned whether 'to be or not to be' was too cliché.

So, brave souls, these are just a handful of the trials and tribulations you may face in the wild world of practitioner research. But remember, the journey is just as important as the destination.


Keep your spirits up, your coffee cup full, and your sense of humor intact. Now go forth and conquer those research mountains! And don't forget to keep a spoon handy - you never know when you'll need to dig yourself out of a data mess. You've got this! Keep going!

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