So I’ve been working with a business teacher and one of our middle schools here in Columbia and it’s amazing to me how quickly I got out of the routine of teaching! Things that used to be second nature like close proximity to a easily distracted student or answering a question with a question, took me a bit too remember and still more time to practice but I slowly got back into the game. I dusted off my “teacher tools” and got to work.
Working with some of my more “difficult learners” was a challenge but as I’ve always said,” those are my people”. I made a few my friends by trying to be as uncool as I could! Of course flattery works but my best trick has always been charm (or lack there of). One cute kid kept talking to their buddy and I kept interrupting him saying “you’re making fun of me aren’t you?” and “it’s so cruel to talk about me like that!” that pretty quickly I had him 3D printing a case for their microbit and asking what we were going to do the next time I came to class! One thing that struck me was, as a volunteer, I had no ego or inhibitions! It was like being the grandpa to a 16 adolescents! When they tried to get under my skin, I rolled with it. If they were obnoxious, I laughed and thought about what they would be like as adults and dealing with their own kids! It was GREAT!
Microbits were a HIT as they always are! Kids love the freedom of being able to learn at their own pace, and design their own circuits. I love the way you can go up or down (remediate or enrich? Is that still a teaching term?) with the device. One particularly interesting kid was talking about building his own computer with a Raspberry Pi device. I tried to keep up but he pretty quickly passed me up in the mental horse power department. Lots of diversity in this group today!
I’ll post some of the results of their coding later this week!