In a past school year, a colleague and I were trying hard to sell the teachers in our building on a certain technology tool. The name of the tool doesn’t really matter. All that mattered is, we considered it a top priority – a tool that could really benefit students. So, we shared about it in emails, in team meetings, in staff meetings, in more casual conversations, anywhere that we could get an audience for it.
Later, one of the teachers attended a technology conference. They came back and were super-excited about a fantastic, exciting, new technology tool. They planned to use it the next day and couldn’t be prouder to have discovered it.
Yup, you guessed it: it was the same tool that we had been beating the drum for all year long.
My colleague was mad.
Colleague: “We’ve shared about this tool so many times and [this teacher] ignored us each time . . . and now she sees thinks she discovered it!?”
Me: “Who cares.”
Colleague: “What!? How does this not make you mad? You recorded videos, you wrote emails, you presented about it in meetings . . . “
Me: “But . . . what was our goal?”
Colleague: “To get teachers to use it.”
Me: “Then we’ve met our goal and the students will benefit.”
The truth is, it’s hard not to be frustrated and offended in this situation. You pour yourself into your role as a tech coach (whether it’s official or unofficial) and work your tail off to try to expose teachers to the ideas that you believe in. And when they ignore it, it hurts. And when they discover it elsewhere and don’t even recall you sharing it, it hurts more.
But . . . it doesn’t matter. As long as the improvement happens, as long as the students benefit, as long as they hear the message from someone – even if it’s not you – you’ve met your goal. Take a deep breath and offer to support them in implementing that new tool!
We can’t take offense to them ignoring it before if they hear it NOW!