Timing. It matters with what we do. Location, like in real estate, matters in what we do as well. For example...
A few weeks ago my colleague and I were in a building and had some time between appointments. We discussed where to "park" during our "down time." The staff lounge came up as an option. It was a logical option, but then another option came to our minds. We decided to "park" in a common area near the front of the building. There are comfy couches there. That detail helped with the decision. I'm not going to lie. Also, and more importantly, this is in a high traffic place in the building. Teachers are always moving in and out of the office along with classes of students (accompanied by their teachers) moving to and from their time at specials. Our hope was to see some teachers that we wouldn't have seen otherwise (if we had parked in the lounge) and perhaps be able to provide some support, answer some questions, catch up, or all three.
Our choice turned out to be a wise one.
During our 45 minutes near the front of the building a handful of teachers took the time to stop, chat, and ask a question or two. This informal support was quick, but it was still extremely valuable. We don't need much time to be able to have an impact. That's one of the many things we love about the nature of what we do.
Teachers are busy. We know this. We have lived this. Sometimes even sending an email to us to ask a question at the exact right time is a challenge. By choosing to be more visible my colleague and I were able to provide some guidance and support that we otherwise would't have. With one choice we were able to create a win-win situation.
It's very rare that we're in the right place and the right time to provide exactly what teachers need. That's just the nature of supporting so many teachers in so many buildings. By parking in the right place we were able to be at least closer to the right place at the right time. All we had to do was make the choice to be seen to make a difference.
Sometimes that's all it takes.