Teachable moments aren’t solely reserved for students, oh no. Anyone can experience and learn from a mistake, choice, or action. You don’t need to be a student in a classroom to learn from something you did. Think of the greatest minds and innovators of our time: Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey, and Michael Jordan to name a few. They all suffered great setbacks early in their lives that they learned from. Albert Einstein was kicked out of school because of his poor behavior, Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first on-air job, and Michael Jordan didn’t earn a spot on his high school’s varsity basketball team when he first tried out. Of course, we all know that they learned from their mistakes or learnable/teachable moments and went onto to change the world. Any person can learn from their past errors, not just students in a classroom.
Today, my co-teacher and I experienced a learnable moment that caused us to completely change our lesson. Walking to our classroom this morning, my co-teacher and I discussed the lesson we had planned for our first period study skills class.
“So, are you all set for PEAKS class today,” I asked my co-teacher as we left the dining commons to head to our classroom.
“Yeah, I’m all set. We’re going to finish that worksheet from last time,” she responded.
“Ahh, no. I did that on Wednesday during your unscheduled morning. You’re doing the study plan, remember?” I said, concerned that I had messed up and hadn’t informed her of the proper lesson plan.
“Umm, I don’t remember that, but I can fix it,” she quickly responded back as we walked into the classroom.
I then worked with my co-teacher to help her revise the agenda slide to reflect the accurate lesson plan. As she was typing in the new topic for today’s class, I remembered that the students were going to be taking a test in her math class next week. So, I said, “That’s cool that we’re discussing making study plans today. Maybe they could make one for their math test.”
She then responded, “Yeah, that’s right.”
At that point, I was inspired. “Wait a minute,” I said, “Let’s change things up a bit. Let’s not use this boring worksheet I created but instead have the students create a study plan for their math test. Yes. I will model how to create a study plan and then they will make their own. What do you think?”
She loved the idea, and so we changed the agenda slide one more time.
Today’s class was a huge success as each student created his very own study plan to prepare for next week’s math assessment. The students know what they need to do to get ready. Not only did we teach them a valuable strategy for planning ahead and making good use of their time to properly study for an exam, we also had them apply the skill to practice getting ready for an exam they have in class next week. Talk about interdisciplinary work. And to think that this brilliant plan and idea would not have been fostered had my co-teacher had the agenda slide properly completed for class. Because of some miscommunication between the two of us, we were able to revise today’s lesson and craft a more meaningful and relevant activity based on the nucleus of the original idea. Making a mistake lead to a Eureka moment for us both. We better helped the students learn how to enhance their learning and study habits by changing what we had first planned. The moral of this epic story is that learnable or teachable moments happen for everyone; you just need to be prepared to take in the lesson or learning.