If I Can, So Can You

Apple Family
Flickr Photo by Melissa C. Toledo

OK, here it goes . . .   I’ve got a bit of a confession to make.

I’ve been connected (online, with twitter, blogging, reading blogs, etc…) for almost a year and a half, but I still feel like a novice. A complete novice at times.  Let me tell you a story….

At the school I work as a vice-principal I’ve been known as the one who knows how all this “technology” works. Yes, I’ve worked hard to figure some things out. I’ve asked for help from many people and have had, and continue to have many struggles along the way.  I have stayed up until the wee hours of the night, constantly checking my notes, struggling to figure things out. It does not come easy to me.  I guess I do it with a smile, and a “can do” attitude because I seemed to have fooled everyone.  Everyone seems to think I know what I am doing.

Last year, our school submitted a proposal for the district Innovative Learning Designs grant.  We were successful and, as a result, purchased laptops, iPads, document cameras, and projectors for all participating classrooms.  We also ordered a number of Apple TV’s. As the order was coming in at the end of the year I just couldn’t help but take a deep breath whenever I walked by the new equipment. Projector adaptors, iPad adaptors, computer cables, VGA adaptors, USBs, HDMI cables, among others, I’m sure. I look at them and shook my head. Oh my. What was all this equipment for? How was I going to set this all up? Or, better yet, WHO was going to set all this stuff up?

Well, it all got done. The teachers were amazing. They took the equipment, helped each other and figured it all out. We also had an amazing Education Assistant at the time who was also of great assistance.  But, then, through decrease in Education Assistance hours, my knight in shining armour had to leave.  I was sad.  He was such a great help to our teachers (and me).  Luckily for us though, almost everything was set up… everything but the AppleTV’s, that is.

I held my breath every time I walked by the AppleTV’s in the room next to my office. Someone was going to have to set these up for the teachers. But who?  Ummmmm… yah, that would be me.  I just couldn’t do it. At least I didn’t think I could do it.

I knew time was ticking down for me though. D-Day was on its way: Meet the Teacher Night was coming and teachers were going to want the AppleTV’s in their rooms (and working). So, a couple of nights before Meet the Teacher Night, I got on email with a colleague who knew what he was doing with all this technology stuff. I helped him with blogging and, in turn, he helped me with AppleTV.  Even with his help though, I was still apprehensive.

It was a good thing I contacted my friend when I did though because the very next day there were teachers asking me about how to work AppleTV. Oh my. “Breath. You must breath”, I told myself.  I know, it may sound silly to you reading this, but I really didn’t know how I was going to make this piece of technology work. It was foreign to me. Much of the time, it seems I have to hold my mouth a certain way to make things work. In the end, things usually cooperate, but still, my confidence for these things is quite low.

So, up we traipsed, to this teachers classroom. AppleTV, directions, and cellphone (in case I needed help from my friend) in hand.

Of course, things didn’t work right away.  There were some issues with the settings. Cue-remote (and a phone call to my friend).  Now, I don’t get a lot of time with the remotes at home. In fact, if my husband has the cable box or the satellite hooked up, I usually have no idea what remote to use or in what order to use which. As a result, the TV either remains on the channel it is currently on, or the TV remains off (usually off). So, my confidence with remotes isn’t that great either.  I persisted. Flipping through the settings with the remote, I seem to find what I’m looking for. I hold my breath. Click some buttons and cross my fingers.

You will not believe it, but it worked!

The teacher and I looked at each other in amazement and laughed. I jumped for joy – literally – in front of a room full of Grade 7 students. The teacher and I high-fived! It was exciting! I know, how silly. The students were unphased though. They didn’t mind the hysterics of their vice-principal figuring out something for the first time. I think they rather liked it.

We are all learning. We all need to breathe deeply every once in a while.

Some key points I try to remember when dealing with situation I am uncomfortable or not feeling confident . . .

  • Try to keep a positive, can-do attitude.
  • There is help always available – you just need to ask.
  • It’s important to demonstrate to others that we are all learners – to teachers, students, parents, and other colleagues.
  • It’s okay to tell people you don’t know (which I do all the time, yet they still think I know).
  • It’s fun to figure things out with someone else and then celebrate together!

At times I feel like a bit of an imposter, like people think I know things I really have no idea about. I know though (and I guess they probably know this as well) that I can figure things out.  When it comes down to it, I am not afraid to try something new. It may freak me out a bit, but I will always face these things head on.

Something for you to remember: if I can do this, so can you!

What do you do when you face something outside your comfort-zone?

Do you have any suggestions for me?


Published by Tia M. Dawson

There are many things that define who I am as a person. First of all, I am a mother of 3 wonderful children! I can not express how fortunate we are to have our children in our life! Secondly, I am an elementary educator who recently returned to the classroom after 12+ years as an elementary school administrator. Lastly, I am passionate about helping others, learning about abuse, helping others in abusive relationships, and helping others understand their worth.

10 thoughts on “If I Can, So Can You

  1. Love your honesty Tia! We just got our Apple TV connected as well and are celebrating. This new learning is so exciting! Thanks for sharing, it’s great to hear I’m not the only one up till wee hours (actually I prefer waking early to staying up late) figuring things out.

    1. Hi Lara,

      It is exciting when things work out, but it is very, very nerve-wracking at times. The uncertainty of everything for someone who is used to having things all “just so” has been interesting. Actually, having children has made me much more flexible and easy-going, which has helped when dealing with these situations.

      Yes, I am usually up pretty early, but, the sad thing is, I am usually up way too late as well. #whoneedssleep ?

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I think it’s a big thing to admit that you don’t know, but you’re willing to figure it out. That’s what we teach our children all the time. Also, to not be in the middle of figuring out when there’s a speaker coming in 5 minutes!

    1. Hi Iram,

      Exactly! We do not need to know everything and, more importantly, it is important that our students (and teachers) know that we do not! So many things are new in our lives right now, how could we possibly know even a fraction of it all? So, yes, it is important for us to model that we can figure out what we don’t know! And, that it’s all about learning!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Iram!

    1. hahaha That’s funny, Linda!

      I am by no way an expert – just muddling my way about attempting to figure things out as I go. It’s quite the learning curve!

      It’s fun being on this journey with such a dedicated, enthusiatic team!

      Thanks for being such a great member of our team!

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