We’ve all heard the saying that when life hands you lemons you should make lemonade, right? Well, I was handed several lemons during my work this week!

This week was a little bit unusual because instead of teaching a “train the trainer” course I was actually slated to teach a student level workshop (the classes that the people I typically train go back and teach at their agency or school). I won’t even go into the bushel basket of lemons I was handed when I realized I had gotten some dates mixed up but I WILL give a serious shout out to my friend and co-worker Doug for helping me make that giant pitcher of lemonade.

So, I was all set up at the training location, got to meet the first wave of students and actually did pretty well on the timing. I was concerned about that since I had to condense what I usually teach over the course of five days down into three shorter days, but I hit all my internal checkpoints for time and we had a really successful first day. Ah…lemonade.

Then that evening I began to lose my voice. Like, seriously lose it. To the point that I called my supervisor because it seemed like I had some lemons piling up. We talked through a few options – very limited options – and both said a prayer that my voice would be nice and strong in the morning.

It wasn’t.

So, now I’m faced with trying to get through a full day of training when I cannot talk. I can’t even eek out a sound. Initially I had a glimmer of some hope because a current trainer for this school thought that he might be able to free up his schedule and do the training for me. That glimmer was quickly extinguished and now I was faced with trying to make some more lemonade.

This was certainly not an ideal situation, however, this was a class that was combined with some people who were current on their certification as well as a couple of people who had been through Mandt training in the past, but they had expired. I felt very fortunate that at least everyone had some exposure to the training prior to my class. The group was all educators, so I also tried to use that to my advantage. The setting was small groups (3-4 people) sitting at round tables. I put up the slides from the power point we were working on and had each table discuss the information. That prompted a few larger group discussions.

I walked around and answered questions the best I could, but the group was basically in full control of their learning that day. I have to admit they must have done a really great job, because the tests for everything they covered in this manner reflected people who had a very firm grasp of the information. What more could an instructor ask for?

So, a shout out to the Oklahoma City Public Schools for helping make a second pitcher of lemonade this week. I’m home resting my voice and will back next week to finish what we started!

Nikki Wince – Mandt Faculty Supervisor