Monday, August 26, 2013

Tech Failure and Teacher Grace

We had a lot of tech training last week during back-to-school inservice.  Actually what I should say is we TRIED to have a lot of tech training. Sometimes technology Just. Won't. Cooperate. Last week was one of those weeks. [Cue scary horror movie music.] I will spare you the gory details; it was frustrating, humiliating, and demoralizing. But our experience could have been much worse. What made it bearable was the response of the vast majority of the teachers we were attempting to train. Oh my yes, there were some grumblers in the bunch, but overwhelmingly, this is what I was reminded of last week:

Teachers are kind; they know that rough patches happen and encourage you when they do. Numerous teachers gave us an encouraging word or a smile when they left the disaster area training. We heard encouragement along the lines of, "Don't worry!" "These things happen!" "We know you were doing everything you could think to try!"

Teachers aren't the kind of people who are quick to blame. Fault-finding doesn't help. Teachers tend to focus on finding solutions, not griping about the problem.

Teachers roll with the punches and are very flexible. Most teachers just sort of shrugged their shoulders and went on to the next thing on their to-do list.

Teachers are polite. Oh, we know that sometimes you didn't hear an instruction because you were back there checking your email; you sometimes multi-task and get OFF task  And yes, teachers can be a very chatty bunch when you're trying to get their attention. But to our faces, there was very little eye-rolling, except in sympathy.

Teachers are empathetic. Most teachers could imagine how we felt because they might have had a similar experience in front of a group of students (and if they had, it was almost certainly during an observation/evaluation). Their responses were tempered by that empathy.

In short, if I  had to experience a [cue scary horror movie music again] Tech Failure of Gargantuan Proportions, I can't think of a nicer bunch of people to have in the audience. Thank you for your grace, and we'll get those bugs worked out soon, I promise. Have a great year, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Maybe we're fairly nice under those circumstances because we've not only suffered the same frustration more than once but also because we know that we will again--probably soon! And we're pretty practical people - we like to gripe at the inflictors of the misery, not the inflictees.