Yes, help the teacher with the malfunctioning document projector, even though you know, in all likelihood, it just needs to be plugged in. Yes, be there when that Mac display needs to be mirrored, again.
But you have a Master's degree in Education? You have a decade or more of experience in the classroom? Teachers need to check their own plugs before asking for your help?
I know. I know. It stinks. I've been "there." But I'm here to remind you, it's a bitter pill, that pride-methylphenodate and sometimes it looks bigger than a horse pill. You can do it though. Just take a big gulp and swallow.
Why, you ask? Because it's not your job to make people into what you want them to be. It's also not your job to bring people up to your level. It's your job to help create the conditions that allow people to grow, try, and feel successful.
Don't we all want to work in a place that feels safe? Where we can feel successful and valued?
Take Simon Sinek's well known TED Talk called "Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe." I've posted the video below, but in his talk, Sinek describes our "Circle of Safety" as a place where people feel safe and protected from the dangers of our environment. No, not saber toothed tigers. Yes, safe from the things that make us feel vulnerable, out of control, and anxious.
Technology can feel dangerous, risky, uncontrollable to a novice or semi-novice user. A fellow teacher may feel as though using technology with a room full of students is like treading water in a rough sea.
At that moment of danger, you wouldn't yell, 'Swim!" to a colleague. Your job is to jump in and say, "Don't panic. Hold on to me. I'll swim with you."
That's empathy. Trust, safety and protection grow from empathy. As Sinek says, "Trust and cooperation are feelings, not instructions." You can't make someone trust you. They have to believe that you are in their Circle of Safety.
So yes, sometimes, to a teacher, that unplugged document camera is a thing that's trying to "frustrate and reduce opportunities for success." Plug it in, say it was your pleasure to help, and walk away knowing that you are creating conditions for growth. You are staying in the teacher's Circle of Safety.
Stay there and, one day, that teacher will say to you, "I'm ready to swim."