Spontaneous learning recently occurred for one of my resident assistants when she had to deal with a tough situation. When everyone was freaking out, she remained calmed and handled the situation by calling who she needed to call to get the individuals the help they needed. While she had been previously trained through mock situations on how different events should be handled, this was her first time handling a real-life situation.
After the situation, the resident assistant and I had a conversation about how she felt it went, and she said that she never would have thought she knew that much. She said she knew she had learned a lot during the resident assistant training but never would have guessed that she would have been able to implement her learning so well.
She unexpectedly learned that she could handle a real life situation calmly and accurately.
One of the most important things I have learned from my Graduate Resident Director position is that often the most important learning is when learning occurs spontaneously. Not only is this concept applicable to me, but it is also applicable to my eight resident assistants that are in their first and second year in college.
So, when was a time that you spontaneously learned something new?
Was it more beneficial than just sitting listening to someone talk?
I encourage you to think long and hard from this moment on about not only how you learn, but when you actually put your learning to use. Did you approach that moment intentionally or was it spontaneous?
As you work on building your community, take the time to help everyone (and yourself) appreciate those moments when they learn by doing. This knowledge will help you get even more out of each situation you face, good or bad, and give you a new way to bring your community forward.