After almost two full weeks of teaching, I feel like I’ve finally made a breakthrough with the kids. I’ve been struggling to motivate and push the students, and have been feeling like it’s my fault, but I think I’m finally getting used to teaching.
In the first class of fourth graders, I’ve been working with a girl named Jade. She always seems frustrated, and a couple times while teaching, I’ve worried that she’ll break out into tears. I haven’t been able to figure out why she gets so upset; she seems to understand the material perfectly fine. Today, I realized what was bothering her. I offered to draw her picture for her. Once Jade realized she could program without having to worry about the drawing, her eyes lit up with excitement. For the rest of class, she was literally singing with happiness, and kept asking me “What else can I do?” It was amazing to see that kind of passion in a student who always seemed so dejected.
In the second class, I’ve been working with two students who just don’t care about school. They’re always unmotivated, and for most of the trip, have just wanted to goof off and do as little work as possible. For the first week, the students saw our Scratch projects as school work, so they didn’t want to work with me at all. As we’ve made progress in their plant projects, though, they’ve stopped seeing Scratch as homework. They’ve realized that programming is not boring, but actually cool, and maybe even fun.
It gives me so much joy to see all of my students so excited in their work. After feeling like I’ve been spinning my wheels for a week, we’re finally making progress because the kids are passionate and excited about their work. I feel ready to take on whatever challenges the next two days will provide.