As an instructor of technical and artistic courses, I’m often asked by students: Why isn’t this working? In order to orient myself to their way of thinking about the task at hand I ask: What are you trying to do?
The spoken response is often different than the tool they have selected or the technique they are attempting to use. This is where the teachable moment lives. Once someone can describe in words what they are trying to do, the tools and techniques are easier to learn and use.