Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Teaching Moment

A teaching moment usually refers to turning a mishap into a teaching piece. For instance, you are showing an introductory class the forward stroke when one of the students tips over. You, in turn, make the mishap a teaching moment by smoothly transitioning into teaching a T-rescue. This picture, that JB snapped on the last day of the Grand Marais symposium, reminded of a twist on this concept.

The day before, I had watched an instructor work with this young lady for 45 minutes in an effort to teach her a sweep roll. I had already seen her do an excellent C-C roll, but she wasn't getting the sweep...and, I knew she wasn't about to. In my judgment, she was being shown the wrong hand and arm movements. Miracles of miracles, I held my tongue.

The next day (Sunday) was skills buffet, and most of us were busy filling Ala Cart requests from students. I was tired and about to pack it in when I saw her on the beach. I approached, explained what I had seen and thought and offered her 10 minutes if she wished to work on her sweep roll.

She grabbed a demo boat, borrowed a paddle (she was carrying a Greenland stick) and we got her onto the water. It took about 30 seconds of explanation and 2 minutes more of going through the motions and, AHA, she had an excellent sweep roll. I complemented her and thanked her for the chance to work with her. As I left, I heard her tell a friend that, "...that guy actually sought me out to do a roll." Great way to finish up the weekend...and trip.

Paddle safe...



derrick said...

good job. Glad you found her, and that she had time. .. now why did'nt you let her keep her traditional paddle?

Joshua said...

It is awesome to see someone go out of their way to help a student gain some skills. And thanks, Derrick - that's what I was thinking, too - but I didn't want to be the first to say it.

DaveO said...

And thats what its really all about isn't it? The mentoring thing is what keeps the whole deal going.

Silbs said...

First, she wanted to learn the sweep with a euro blade.

Second,for me teaching is the highest calling. After all, lots of people took time to teach me lots of stuff. Time to give back.