The Edison Moment

We have all felt it. Imagine walking through a thick fog and you can even barely see your feet. Suddenly, the fog clears and you can see for miles in many different directions.

Today, after a short discussion on simplifying expressions, a student that frequently needs assistance in class had asked for my help with a problem. I started with the basic:

Me: What did you do?

Student: (explained exactly what he had done)

His solution was exactly what I was looking for, but not at all what I had expected.

Me: Okay, so what is your question?

Student: Well, I am stuck. I don’t know what to do next.

Me: There is nothing you can do.

Student: (with a puzzled look on his face) so that is all I need to do?

Me: Yep

Student: Really?! I get it now!! It makes sense after you showed us that a simplified equation is equal to the given equation!


He proceeded to perfectly complete every problem on the activity.

Bingo. Seeing it all come together for that student was a special feeling. I could see the excitement and pride in his eyes. He had felt accomplished, but not as much as I. Especially after a day when I felt like I was talking to 25 mannequins sitting in desks, witnessing this was very refreshing. It also reminded me that I do know what I am doing after all.


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