This week I was more excited than ever to (lightly) assist in delivering a workshop by my good friend Lisa. Lisa would be the main event and I could enjoy learning from her. I know what a solid wealth of knowledge she is, so I was thrilled to be able to see her in action. I was also excited because the location we partner with offers a state of the art facility. We had over 20 participants on our roster and it was just a good feeling as another week of teaching was in the books.
At 4:00 Friday afternoon I called Lisa to touch base about tomorrow’s presentation. When she answered the phone I immediately knew she was sick. She had full blown laryngitis and she had been nursing a fever. I assured her that “I got this”, but inside I crumbled. I wasn’t mentally prepared to deliver an all day workshop this weekend. I was supposed to be sitting back and enjoying and cheering on my friend. So I did what teachers do and I persevered. I pulled an all-nighter and studied up Friday evening so I would be fully prepared to deliver Saturday’s workshop.
Saturday morning everything was set up. The tables were done, the caterer had set up and I assured myself “I got this” as participants began to arrive. The link to the digital sign-in form was displayed by the projector, there was a quiet buzz as we all settled in readying ourselves for a day of learning. And suddenly…there was no internet. Yep, no internet! It was a strange spotty failing at first and then nothing. Ya’ll this was a digital learning workshop!! My presentation depended on the internet. It was an interactive workshop, the participants needed the internet. How could this be happening?? I was crumbling inside again. A friend came over, took me by the hand and reassured me “You got this.” So I did what teachers do and I persevered. I lived five minutes from the location site and I did the unthinkable…I relocated our workshop to my living room. One participant said it was the best workshop he had ever attended.
“Centralized control is fabulous until it isn’t. Centralized control gives us predictable, reliable, convenient results. Until it suffocates.” ~Seth Godin
This is why North Carolina Teacher Academy is growing and dependent on a circle of teachers who support each other and show each other grace and understanding. Because let’s face it our state needs to offer our teachers a wide array of great options in staff development. This weekend was all about teachable moments, grace and understanding, perseverance and reminders that “we got this”.