The “Aha! Moment:” The importance of celebrating accomplishments with students

Do you remember where you were when you had an Aha! moment? Maybe when you first learned how to tie your shoes or when you solved your first math equation on your own? When you reflect back on that Aha! moment, how did it make you feel? What were you thinking? What did you do with this new-found knowledge you just discovered? Well, if you are like the rest of us, you started to tell everyone about it!

Now put yourself in your student’s shoes. Each and every day, they are experiencing Aha! moments, at home and in our classrooms! As adults, learning something new for the first time isn’t as exciting because, let’s be honest, we have been learning something new since we were born. But for children, the thrill of learning something new is just that – a thrill! We find in education that celebrating the Aha! moments are key to student personal and professional growth. 

To better identify these Aha! moments, let’s break down what these moments are, and the power they hold. An Aha! moment is a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition or comprehension. The lesson you have been teaching clicks, a student who rarely raises their hand speaks up in class, or when a parent reaches out to you to share that their student wouldn’t stop talking about the history lesson they learned today. In education, it is what we live for! 

Acknowledging these moments are just as important as when they happen. Students will achieve great things when we believe and recognize that all students are capable of reaching their highest learning potential. 

Here are some prompts and ideas for celebrating Aha! moments in your classroom:

  • Your work on this math chapter is really paying off! You should be proud of yourself!
  • I see you putting in the extra effort to learn something new. Way to go!
  • You should tell your (mom/dad/grandma/uncle) about this new lesson you learned! They would be as proud of you as I am!
  • Raise your hand, what did you learn today that you didn’t know yesterday?
  • I am going to call your (mom/dad/grandma/uncle) to tell them about all of the extra effort you are putting in. 
  • Let’s give a virtual round of applause to (student’s name). 
  • What is one thing you are going to tell your family you learned today?

You are molding the future! Your influence develops a deeper understanding of the world, creates positive behavior habits, sparks creativity and finds the potential they need to lead a productive and successful life. The little moments matter! 

Now, tell us, how are you celebrating the Aha! moments in your classroom? Share how you celebrate these moments with, and you will receive a $5 Starbucks gift card!