There’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in education and in life called the Teachable Moment.
Now this can be characterized by some sort of learning that is happening between students and teachers or between parents and children. It can be planned out as part of an activity or it can be spontaneous. Which is better?
It would depend on who you ask as to the response you receive. That in itself could be considered a teachable moment.
Me I like, or prefer, the unplanned spontaneous kind.
That being said, I witnessed a teachable moment today while I was at a school and for me it was an eye opening experience. While working with a school today on their first news broadcast you could say that everything that could go wrong went wrong.
- The sound did not work
- A computer did not power up
- The teleprompter did not work
- The camera kept shutting off
- The crew was late
Hey it happens so we drop back and punt and prepare for the next day.
In the mist of the chaos, the students took it upon themselves to figure out what the problems were, how to fix them and how to help each other to ensure a successful broadcast the next day.
I became a bystander as I watched these students diagnose and work through the problems that had happened during the morning broadcast.
As one student determined what the problem was they would gather the rest of the news crew around and showed them how to fix the issue.
This was something that I had not seen in some of the other schools that I have worked with in the past. Usually students would just accept that there was a problem and then leave and go on with their day, maybe hoping that the problems would fix themselves.
I expressed to their faculty mentor that this was something that I had not witnessed in other schools and it was incredible to see coming from middle school students.
Yes it was a teachable moment for the students to fix the issues and work with each other but I think that it may have been more of a teachable moment for me in that it was something that I had not expected and impressed me greatly.