Today was our first day teaching at St. James Primary school, upon arriving at the school what I first noticed were the kids. All the children watched as we entered the school eager to meet the strange visitors. They quickly crowed us and began to talk with us as if we had been there the entire year. We soon realized that we would in fact be teaching 4 classrooms in total spread over the three hours. We began by teaching a group of children ages 9 and 10. Merrill and I were in one room while Emma, Leah, and Katie taught in another room. The children were eager to learn and before long, could easily maneuver the XO computers better than myself. As the kids began to explore the computers, I was surprised by their understanding of technology and their desire to play games such as temple run, subway surfers. These small children were trying to find games and YouTube, such things I didn’t even know were available to the kids. In the first class room, we played games with them such as a drawing game and an instructional walking game in order to help the kids understand how to give instructions to their computers. We were able to also begin working with Scratch and it didn’t take long for the kids to realize how to make their sprites dance and move.
Before we knew it, our time with the first classroom was already up, and we had a small break which gave us time to carry the computers to the other classes that we would teach. These kids were ages 8 and 9, and something slightly difficult about teaching these kids was their classrooms were connected and only had a small barrier to divide the classrooms, in addition these classes were bigger than our first class. As in the first class, we were able to play the games, and helped the kids begin their projects on Scratch. After teaching the “surprise class”, I was already time to go! We packed the computers into a closet at the school and then left for the day. Many of the kids had asked us all day if we would be back or if they could keep using the computers which I thought was really cute and heartwarming.
After leaving the school, we spent the rest of the day at Mullins Beach where we played in the crystal clear water and laid on the beach in the sand. After having a great time at the beach, we went back to Villa Marie for dinner.
My advice for students next year, is even if you’re surprised with who you may be teaching, such as two classes instead of one, it’s going to be okay because it’s easy to shorten the lesson plan. Although it may be slightly more challenging, in the long run you are giving more kids the opportunity to learn about computers and learn how to code.
Teaching was so much fun, and I can’t wait to see the kids again on Monday!