Saturday, January 4, 2014

Glad I Was Disappointed Today

Photo Used With Permission Under a Creative Commons License
NOTE: I'm going to talk a bit about the difficulties I had participating in edcampHOME today. I want to make clear that this is not meant as a complaint about edcampHOME or its organizers. They did a great job getting a ton of people organized into sessions where wonderful networking and learning occurred!

Today I participated in edcampHOME. After having a great experience with EdCampOnline back in
October, I was really looking forward to another opportunity to learn with and from educators from across the country, live and right from the comfort of my own computer.

I received an email a few days ago and went over all of the instructions for participation twice so I would know exactly what to do on the day.

I drove to my office because I'd left my best headset there before the holidays and because I knew I'd have a robust internet connection to participate in this professional development opportunity.

I listened carefully to the instructions given live during the opening discussions.

I signed up for my first session and received a confirmation email that I had gotten in.

I waited for an invitation to a Google Hangout where the session would occur, but the invite never came.

I tried several ways to get someone's attention to get help, but there was a lot going on, and I was not the only one having problems.

I had an opportunity to go watch other sessions, but not really participate in them other than listening. By the time I gave up on getting my first session invite and decided to go watch another session, the session was wrapping up.

OK. No problem. I am resilient and a second session was coming up. This time, it would work!

I followed the sign-up procedure again and got the confirmation email again.

Sadly, the Google Hangout invite I needed to fully participate in the session did not come.

This time, I did get the attention of one of the organizers, and I'm not sure what she did, but my Google Hangout invite for the session finally came. Yay!!!

I got into the session with moments to spare. Those who were already there were gracious and made me feel very welcome. That was comforting, but on the flip side I was even more bummed that I'd missed out on conversing with them for a longer time!

Why am I bothering to blog about this? 

Because I want to remember the lessons of this day.

Remember what it feels like when you do everything in your power to get things right, and the outcome still falls short.

Remember that even when others are trying their best, there may still be issues.

Remember what it feels like to be a teacher with an amazing opportunity hanging on technology working correctly, only to be disappointed when something fails and it is beyond anyone's ability to help in a timely manner.

Remember that even as I try to fix/apologize/encourage a teacher when things go awry, they may understand on a rational/logical level, but the sting of disappointment is still there. And it can make it harder to want to try again the next time.

Remember that when things don't go as planned, there are often lessons to be learned if I look hard enough.

Although I did not get to fully participate in a complete session during edcampHOME today, I am glad I tried. And I'm glad I still managed to come away with a powerful and needed lesson.

All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please see specifics on my re-use policy in the right-hand column of my blog before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.