One of the things I love about teaching is that anything can be a teachable moment… opportunities arise all the time and sometimes the unplanned ones are the more powerful.

Today, after Will read the Morning Message – he asked for a challenge.  This has become a ritual for many kids.  They ask us to challenge them, and we come up with someway to make them work just a little harder.

“Will, find a word in the message that rhymes with the word ‘fast’,” I offered.

Will took a moment and began reading the message from the beginning, scanning for the answer.

After a few seconds, Mikey shouted our, “LAST! It’s last!”

Will wilted.

Instead of addressing Mikey, I turned to Will and asked him, “How did that make you feel?”

Now Will is a smart kid.  He didn’t say ‘sad’ which is the canned response for ‘bad’, but instead, reached into his vocabulary and replied with, “Disappointed.”

“Will, tell Mikey how you felt when he shouted the answer out,” I continued.

“Mikey, I felt disappointed when you shouted the answer out… I was looking and I just needed another minute to find it,” he stated like a pro.

“I’m sorry,” Mikey mumbled.

We talk about not shouting out all the time.  One of our class rules is even ‘One person talks at a time,’ but kids never seem to understand it’s not just because we’re being mean, but rather there is a real reason we only want one person to talk at a time.  Today, Mikey and Will showed just how disappointed a sprout can be when their thinking is interrupted.  I was actually pleased it happened.