The hardest thing about teaching in the moment is that it is unplanned. As a teacher, you have to be flexible and make a split-second decision on whether or not this moment is worth capitalizing on, worth taking away from your next lesson. I have found that more often or not, teachable moments are worth it.
Being able to capitalize on a moment, and really capturing the students' interest, is an invaluable opportunity to expand a students' learning.
This Tuesday was full of teachable moments...
I gave impromptu lessons on being courteous to authority figures, allowing people to concentrate on their work, why we shut off water when we work on plumbing, how a crock pot works, and, my favorite, the voting process. Needless to say, it was a crazy day. I do, however, believe that the lessons learned were worth the craziness! I believe we learn by living, regardless of whether or not we are in the classroom!
I found a blog forum from PBS that could not be better at explaining teachable moments...I highly recommend it: