I Hit the Wall

Today a student I have worked with a number of times called and wanted me to walk them through an extremely rudimentary technological task on their mobile device. I knew my colleague had helped them with this exact same task in person yesterday, and I thought it was odd that they didn’t remember, but I tried to help. Since apps display differently depending on the device, I didn’t know exactly what the student was looking at—and my suggestions as to where to look items on the screen were not fruitful. We were going around in circles, and eventually, I said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think we’re going to be able to figure this out over the phone.”

If a high school student had not known how to perform the task in question, I would have been concerned. If they’d asked for help with it a second time, I would have been alarmed and looped in their counselor and/or classroom teacher—it’s that basic a task. I’d have other people in the school to help me figure out how to best help the student going forward.

College is different. I did email my supervisor, and I’m sure I’ll get some guidance, but I just feel so unsettled.

8 thoughts on “I Hit the Wall

  1. We don’t like not having the answers, do we? I hope that you get your guidance soon and that student gets the help he/she needs. Good luck! ~JudyK


  2. This is such a hard time. As a mom, I’m realizing there are still rudimentary things I don’t know how to do in order to check my kids’ grades. But as a teacher, I feel you on being frustrated. Having to do things across the internet adds an annoying layer to everything!


  3. Ugh, I know this feeling too well as it happened to me yesterday. I teach pre-service teachers and Ed.Tech class and they are designing blogs/sites. One student who is Spanish speaking and English as a second language was having trouble trying to upload a video and I was trying to show her over zoom how to do it. We kept switching off sharing our screens, but she just couldn’t get it. I could do it on my site and she couldn’t do it on hers. How frustrating! We ended up not accomplishing the task and I felt like I failed her. 😦 You are right – unsettled is the best word to describe the feeling.


  4. From the previous post, I thought this might be a slice, but apparently not. Just guessing you might be a TA in graduate school or working in the learning center. It’s such a different culture than K-12. Your supervisor might come through, but I wouldn’t count on it. There’s probably someone who can help but you may have to find them on your own.


      1. Thank you for the explanation. VoTech is different in it’ own way, call it post-secondary (tertiary in UK) subculture — highered’s red haired stepchild.

        I’m retired now but having traveled down a variety of education/teaching paths in my lifetime, I’ve been down the way finding path more than once. At some points they all intersect with more crossover than one might expect.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Trying to help people figure out how to use different apps when we aren’t in the same place poking at things together has been one of the big challenges for me during this time, a surprise revealing of a weakness in my ability to be patient and helpful when I also feel unskilled. I think about the patient voice of that judge in the kitten-lawyer video, and wish I could believe I sound anything like that when I’m trying to help folks on Zoom or Teams! I hope you are finding your way and being patient with yourself as you do.


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