Thursday, March 5, 2015

Teachable Moments

It's that time of year when schools make decisions to dismiss early, delay, or close due to winter weather. For me, that often means being available to publish announcements regarding those decisions on our district website. Yesterday was definitely one of those days! First, on my way in to work I received the call to announce that we would be releasing schools one hour early due to expected winter storms. I immediately pulled my car over, turned on my phone's hotspot and jumped on my laptop to post the early dismissal in order to get the news out to parents as quickly as possible. Then, last night I received the call to announce a late start for today, followed by another call about thirty minutes later to post the school closing announcement. So where is the "teachable moment" in all of this?

When I received the first call of the evening regarding a delayed start, I was in the middle of watching our favorite show on DVR with my family. When my cell rang, my husband paused the show and I grabbed my laptop and started typing the delayed start announcement on our district website. A few seconds after clicking the publish button, the calls, texts, and direct messages started coming in! It appears that I completely botched the date in my delayed start announcement. (Not only was the day/date wrong, but the combination doesn't even exist on the calendar!) As I fired my laptop back up and my husband paused the DVR, I was beyond frustrated with myself that I would make such a horrific error on our district website that hundreds of people look to for accurate information. Granted, the error only appeared on the website for approximately five minutes, I was still beating myself up over making such a public blunder.

Thankfully, though, this little mix up provided me with the following "teachable moments!"
1. Don't pause the DVR of last week's episode if it has the scrolling banner about school closings across the bottom! <<< Apparently the closing from last week was subliminally stuck in my mind causing me to type the wrong weekday! 
2. Everyone makes mistakes, even educators! (Cue the Hannah Montana song!) 
3. Everything you post online is permanent, even if you delete it! <<< This is the biggest teachable moment of them all and I will share it with students and teachers when teaching about digital citizenship. 
While my blunder was only posted for five minutes, one of our students captured it and tweeted about it on Twitter. You just never know who or when someone is taking a screenshot of something you post, and even more so you never know who or how they will share it! ... Now that's a real-life teachable moment! 

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