Note: Certain details have been changed for privacy's sake.
I am the go-to person for tech help for my friends (and enemies), family, and teachers. I have helped everyone I know with tech since 3rd grade (I am currently in high school).
During school when a video wouldn't play, the projector wasn't calibrated, things wouldn't print, etc., I would help and fix these issues. Teachers thanked me and were appreciative that I was able to fix their school-related issues within 5-10min without having to go through the IT staff.
However, there was an art teacher at the school (I say "was" because she resigned, much later after this incident). She was rightfully known for ALWAYS being on her phone. It became so bad that a petition was signed by multiple parents addressed to the board to get rid of her (although nothing came of it). As an outspoken, very opinionated, person I frequently made jokes to friends and made it clear that I was totally against her and her use of her phone. I even said things to her face (which looking back may have not been the most appropriate).
Towards the beginning of an art class, she put a lesson on the projector and started to explain what we were going to do that day. Her phone pinged and she picked it up and started to look through it. The lesson came to halt, and since we were used to this we started talking and the room got loud. A few minutes later:
Teacher: "[Insert My Name Here] come here."
Everyone went silent
I walk over to her desk, wondering what did I do?
Teacher: "I'm getting a message on my phone that my iCloud is out of space. What should I do?"
I'm thinking it's probably photos of art or something for the class
Me: "If you don't want to buy more space on iCloud, you can transfer the photos to the computer and delete them from your phone"
Teacher: "Here's my Mac. Can you do it for me?"
Me: "Should we transfer it to the school computer for the lesson?"
Teacher: "What? No. These are my vacation photos."
Everyone laughed, except me.
I didn't want to help her with a personal matter and encourage this behavior, but I also didn't want to get in trouble and sent to the principal for refusing, who based on my experiences with him, would probably not care that it was an inappropriate request.
So, I ended up helping her transfer everything. This took the entire rest of the period, while everyone else got to sit back and enjoy the off period.
This sucked for multiple reasons:
I had to help a teacher I didn't like
I was encouraging her irresponsible behavior
Didn't help socially among other kids
Everyone else got a period to talk, socialize, or do work from other classes and I didn't
It was completely inappropriate for a teacher to ask this.
My goal for future reference:
I want a way to politely tell her that (in a way that I would not get into trouble):
- It is inappropriate to ask for help with personal matters.
- I don't feel comfortable helping her with non-school related technology questions.
She's the type of teacher that is liable to respond like "No? Excuse me?! Go to the principal immediately".
Note: Going to an administrator is not really an option as it was a right then and there thing and she probably would not have let me leave.
I don't really want to give the impression that I am unable to help or don't know how for the following reasons:
- It's hard to say I don't know when I am helping 5 other teachers with other tech problems
- It's one of my few socially driving forces. I really don't want to lose what social interactions I gain (with other kids) by them losing their confidence in my abilities.