One of the challenges of coordinating videoconferencing is what to do when teachers cancel or change their minds on doing a videoconference. While it can be very frustrating for those who have put in time scheduling, doing test calls, and all the preparation necessary, I think we have to step back and look at it from the teacher’s perspective.
They may not always tell us why they are canceling, but almost always it’s a very good reason. Family issues, health issues, school scheduling issues that they didn’t know about before, curriculum pressures…. these are all reasons why teachers cancel. They sign up thinking that it will work out, but when it comes right down to it, they can’t make it happen.
Sometimes, with a little patience and encouragement in discussion with the teacher, you can resolve the issue satisfactorily to salvage the program. But other times it honestly has to be canceled.
Reacting to Cancellations
In our early days of videoconferencing, I sent some strongly worded letters to teachers about canceling programs. Guess what? They’ve never done a videoconference since. What was I thinking?!! We don’t do that anymore. We can’t take it personally! We have to consider their point of view and be gracious and understanding!
Of course we want teachers to realize that scheduling is challenging, but teachers are really stressed and under a lot of pressure. If we add to that stress, we are teaching them that videoconferencing isn’t worth the trouble. We have to cut them some slack and work with them to resolve whatever challenges arise so that they will continue to participate and use videoconferencing.
What About You?
So how do you handle cancellations? Any advice? What tips do you have to help teachers work through challenges with a videoconference?