Something cool happened a couple of days ago. I was setting up my workshop room to do a lesson on “Learning from Mistakes” (specifically, at work).
A reminder; I work with at risk youth, and the program that I work within teaches job search, job readiness, and job maintenance skills.
Anyway, the lesson that I was about to launch into had been created that morning, totally on the fly. I’d never done it before.
So as I was setting up the projector, I overheard the guys in my class chatting about a very recently released video game. And inspiration struck.
For nearly an hour we had a completely engaged and engaging full class discussion about making and learning from mistakes in video games, and how and why it differs from how we approach mistakes in real life. The one student that reads a book for the entire lesson (don’t worry about it, it’s cool), CLOSED HIS BOOK AND SLID IT TO THE SIDE OF THE TABLE. Seriously, I cannot stress enough how giddy that makes me.
One of Stephen Brookfield’s 16 Maxims of Skillful Teaching is “Don’t be afraid to take risks”. I took a chance on another lesson a couple of days later and it bombed. But I can learn from that and move forward, and I won’t forget the win. It was a big one.
Brookfield, S.D. (2015) The skillful teacher. (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.