Teachable Moments – Wake Technical Community College Professional Development Conference 2016

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3:50pm, Pucher-Le May Building, Main Campus. Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, NC. Presented by John D. Sheuring

Teachable Moments – Wake Technical Community College Professional Development Conference 2016

IF students can take away from one of my mistakes, then I have accomplished my mission

[Lets just consider this a teachable moment and move on cartoon]

FOcus 1


FOcus 2

Teacher learns from mistakes and teacher with those

[But I thought this goes with a teachable moment?]

Teachable moment definition

What does this mean to you? Is it the creation of a dialogue? Is it a how does this not happen again moment? Is it being humbled? It can work with both traditional and non-traditional students.

We have teachable moments that we can use to our advantage. Especially as a connection to online students.


What is a mistake. Oops uh-oh. Can we use this to help our students? Is it plagiarism? is it ramifications for the future? A mistake has happened. Can it be used to create a teaching moment in which the student can learn from a problem. Mistakes are proof that you’re trying.

Countering the Challenges

Be prepared for cases that do effect traditional and non-traditional students. You cannot show your emotions, because you have become a lifeline for those students. Sharing things in your life can be very helpful in bringing that persistence in the student’s eyes.

Work issues such as changes in schedules, and job changes. Family issues such as single parents, parents working at different times, or job difficulties. Veterans may have issues being disabled, homeless, or those suffering from TBI or PTSB. Health issues, such as awareness of disabilities and sicknesses. Financial problems such as VA benefits, loss of jobs could be issues.

What to do

  • Listen to their concerns
  • address all issues that aris by discussing your role as a teacher
  • develop process that will help accommodate challenges
  • each case will be unique to that process
  • prepare for last minute changes

Millenial generation wants everything now. They don’t want to wait. Often, this manifests in anxiety with things which take much more time and effort. However, if they can find a teachable moment that can be behaviorally determined, they will never forget it.

Counter Challenge

Some people are so set in their ways, that innovations and change can come along to speed and excel their worlds.

Our students are veterans, single parents, those who lost job, ESL (English as a second language), Sent back for more education, Non-traditional students, dual-enrolled students and standard college students.

The Future

Education will shift in the future in seismic dimensions. The methods used now will be extinct in 5 years. Keeping up with the information can be a constant struggle which may outstrip the abilities of teachers within 5-10 years. The collaboration and engagement will still keep the connections though.

New and more profound methods will need to be explored to keep up with the volume of information that will be required from industry as well as the new students who are walking into the door asking what we have to offer to them and will this education fill that needed gap?

Academic leadership will be required to fulfill the future needs for the students. If not, schools themselves will become obsolete. Unless colleges can be proactively evolving our curriculum, we will suffer a similar fate.