Start, Stop & Change: teaching moment

I was having lunch with a friend the other day and the subject of LeBron James came up.

My friend was appalled at LeBron’s decision to go to the Miami Heat. During our discussion, he said he used the primetime event as a teaching moment about selfishness with his young son.

I love the idea of extracting a teaching opportunity from the everyday, ordinary world. Something about the expression he used stuck with me.

I started thinking about teaching moments I’m on the receiving end of.

And whether I’m missing too many because I’m not recognizing them for what they are.

I read a great deal and like to believe I’m always open to learning. But what about the teaching moments that don’t come from a book?

  • That come from a spur of the moment opportunity or a really disappointing setback?
  • Or the ones that come from an unexpected source, like the homeless guy who sits in Starbucks or the mute woman who bags my groceries at the local market?
  • Or the former colleague who has always rubbed me the wrong way or the peer I sometimes envy?

The very nature of a teaching moment suggests it’s unexpected and unplanned; it happens in the moment.

Which means it could be easy to miss. It could be disguised as just the backdrop of the day, the walk-on extra, the seemingly inconsequential event.

On the flip side, how many teaching moments could I be the giver of?

And how many have I been too busy for or overlooked altogether?

It’s easy to get too big in the britches to think the teaching moment applies to us. Or too busy to notice a teaching moment is available—whether as the giver or receiver.

Are you open to using the unexpected and unplanned of the everyday world in an intentional way to create awareness, shape thoughts, and instill knowledge? To me, that’s what a teaching moment is.

Have you had a teaching moment today?