There is a common goal for all the teachers of WhiteHat Jr. Our curriculum heads, parents, CEO Karan Bajaj too have this common concern. How to make coding all the more fun for kids to learn, more so than a regular school subject.
We are all flooded with opinions from everywhere. From good books to some experienced teachers, everyone has their own tools. Adding to those wonderful ideas, here are some of my methods gained by experience over a period of 6 months on this wonderful platform and 2 years of earlier experience from teaching before that.
I think this is the most important one. Number 1 in my own personal list.
Now, by connection I mean, basically two types of connections.
TEACHER AND STUDENT BOND
Foremost, in my opinion , calling ourselves , teachers would be wrong. Facilitator makes more sense to me. Let’s not speak to the kid. Rather, let’s try to listen. Let kids do the talking. The more kids speak, the more we get to know about them.
We are dealing with young kids, who are going through many physical and emotional changes. We can’t really keep our eyes shut on this particular aspect. Their Ego is building. They don’t like to be disrespected by anyone, even by their parents. Especially in front of others.
I want to share one of my experience with one of my kids. Let’s call him M.
So, M is in the 9th standard and he is a naughty kid. Well, in class 3, when I started discussing about conditional programming, I used example of arrow keys. While I was speaking (I’ll say speaking because only I was speaking, he wasn’t exactly listening) he flipped his keyboard and started pressing arrows and showed it to me. Every time, I try to get him on track , he will start to play with the mouse or interrupt me saying he needed to go to the washroom. To be honest, I was agitated. But I kept my calm. After he came back, we started again. At the same moment his mother joined the session and asked how is he doing??
Being honest, I said he is doing good but is a little mischievous. The moment I gave my honest opinion she yelling at M, by saying things like he is wasting her money etc. She angrily asked M to stop moving the mouse but he being stubborn looked straight into his mom’s eye and kept doing that. After formal goodbye, I ended class.
That night, I realized I need to find some creative ways to communicate with M.
So, next time, I used some daily life examples to explain everything. Rather than asking him questions, he himself reached the conclusion. Since then, M has improved significantly. The naughty boy has become more attentive and his confidence level has increased.
So, that’s my mantra.
Make your kid comfortable so that at least he should come happily to our class. Let’s not be very formal in our interactions. With my kids, I try to share my ways, in which I used to learn geography when I was their age. Relating all concepts of coding to something they are passionate about will do the best.
Just get them talking, try to know what they love or what they are passionate about. How they want to be treated and then keep taking them in this hitherto land of coding.
You’ll be happily surprised to see your kids coming up with some really great visions and logics. I’m saying this out of experience.
The list is long about examples from my own classes. I’m sure, every teacher must have experienced the same.
Idea is not to teach them but to intrigue them, inspire them to put little extra effort.
And when they start doing that, (they won’t start in a single interaction, we need to make it a process until it’s done) our role is simply to get them back on track whenever they de-rail.
But to do so, we have to be technically much stronger than the kids. We need to practice first before we want our kids to come up with some logic. We have to be prepared with answers and solutions whenever they get stuck.
This method, needs to be applied in a different way to each of our kids.
This is a tried and tested way with many of my kids and I’m already happy with results.