bumps in the road #sol22
September 27, 2022
I opened my email this morning to a ‘goodbye’ note from a colleague. He is moving on to another position in another district. As I reread his goodbye, I was considering him in our learning community and our learning community without him. You see, he brings a calm to every situation and a reassurance that we collectively are going to work things out eventually. He has a calm voice and a patient exterior. He is generally just the type of co-worker you want beside you in a crisis and in celebration. And… he’s leaving.
Later in the morning, I was knee-deep in a non-life-threatening crisis that unfortunately has become rather happenstance in these parts. This Tuesday that feels like Monday, we have a full day of assessments scheduled (online) and yet, none of the chromebooks could access the server. None of them could access the server. So many faces expectantly looking at me to pull a proverbial rabbit out of my proverbial hat. Am I sweating?
I took a deep breath and I thought about my colleague who is leaving. I used my best quiet voice to say, We are going to get this worked out. Let’s see what we can try. The truth is, I know about as much about chromebooks to be dangerous, so to speak. What might work? We logged out of our secure network platform. We shut down the computers and rebooted them… to no avail.
Time to call for back up. There wasn’t a number for technology near this classrooms phone. I tried to think about what it was. I tried a number. I dialed the wrong number for technology support. I got the other technology support not the one assigned to our building. I took another deep breath.
I said, maybe you could do a read aloud. I’ll be right back. I went quickly down the corridors to find the phone number for our technology help. I couldn’t find it. I asked our overworked and short handed secretary. She gave me the number. I called, taking another deep breath. I explained our dilemma to this new person. Oh yes, he said, Jamie messaged us. Kevin is on his way.
I went back to the classroom. It felt like I waited a long time. I took several more deep breaths.
Kevin arrived. He was cheerful. He was kind. He was calm. We’ll get this fixed right up he said… and went to work. Each and every chromebook has to be reconnected to the platform with a ‘secret password’ that only the technology department knows. He opened each one and reconnected it.
The unruffled students and their calm teacher started again and the assessment began smoothly. We moved on to other rooms working in tandem to get them reconnected. Machine after machine. Pleasantry after pleasantry. Calm words throughout.
Finally, the problem was solved and I had remained calm. Crisis averted. Everything back to running relatively smoothly.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to remember my friend’s calm ways every time. I don’t know if I actually have it in me to adopt calm and cheerful, optimist in each setting. But for us, because of him, I’m going to give it a go.