Plan B

The Spokesperson Newsletter from August 29, 2020

Plan B
Hello Facilitator Friends!
Last week I co-lead a webcast called Resiliency in the Face of a Pandemic.  We have an exercise we do in the presentation around resiliency and how we cannot always control what happens in life, but we can choose how we respond to it.  I generally do this skill fairly well, however in the height of a stressful situation, it’s not always easy to remain calm.

Two days ago there was a massive Zoom outage.  Were you affected?  I sure was.  I was supposed to have delivered a Virtual Scavenger Hunt for 200 high school teachers and support staff at 8:00am MT.  The outage started around 7:00am MT, and seemed to be restored around 9:00am MT, however it was too late at that point.  It was the first time Zoom had really failed me.  To be honest, I have been surprised it hasn’t crashed before considering 300 million people use it daily.  
Last week I had had a small glitch on Zoom when I couldn’t get breakout rooms to open.  I’ve done this multiple, multiple times in the past, so I knew it wasn’t user error.  Zoom has been my platform of choice due to the breakout room functionality, however after this little glitch I decided to explore some other options to make sure I had a Plan B in the future.  I figured out an acceptable second option using Google Meets.  It required a lot of extra work on my end making sure Plan B was set up, and it would have been a little more confusing for the end user, but it still would have worked.  I was glad I had a backup plan Monday morning as it reduced my stress level just a bit.  I was trying to focus on what was in my control, knowing that technology is not one of my strongest skill sets.  Having a Plan B gave me a little more confidence that I could pull off the session even if there were glitches.
And glitches there were!  I never would have predicted a nationwide Zoom outage.  Ultimately, we decided to postpone the program until this Friday.  This group will be using Zoom with their students this year, so it was important for them to see how everything functions on the Zoom platform.  I will however, show them my ‘work around’ if they experience future problems.
One of my favorite moments during the height of the situation was two seconds after we made the official decision to postpone.  The moments leading up to the decision were pretty stressful, and we made the call three minutes before we were officially supposed to start with the entire group.  I began to apologize for technology failing us and Ms Jackson quickly stopped me and said, “Our theme for this year is Resiliency, so we are just going to roll with it.” Incredible.  What a great example of role-modeling what she wants her staff to do with their students this year!  Ms Jackson demonstrated emotional resiliency flawlessly.  I have no doubt she, her staff and her students are going to have a fabulous year.
Don’t forget to check out this week’s Podcast episode:  What Connection Activities Can We Do at the Start of the School Year?
Best wishes for an Intentionally Full week!  

Have fun out there, 

Michelle Cummings
Owner/Trainer/Big Wheel
Training Wheels