I knew we would be able to teach high school students how to code and how to do graphics; I never realized what we would learn in the process. I was tasked with opening and closing remarks and with occasionally sticking my head in to say hello and comment on someone’s progress. One thing we learned was that it is easy to teach, but that does not make you an educator. My hat is off to all of those who enthusiastically work each day teaching children as professional educators. Trust me, it isn’t as easy as it looks.
The one or two little bumps we learned from were with the assistance of Val McAvey, truly one of my favorite educators in the Universe. I have personally watched Val take large chunks of her own time, long after school was over, to work with students who needed a bit of help. I also have to say that I cannot say enough good things about School of the Woods and their amazing staff and faculty. While I may not always agree with them, I will never doubt that they truly want the best for their students.
As for the students, they came in many different shapes and sizes with many different motivations and desires. Ultimately, they all learned and it was interesting to see how they/we all learn differently and at a different pace. One thing I have always enjoyed about this group is that it is common to see one student teaching another. That is likely why I am so drawn to their type of education; because, everyone hired at drumBEAT is told on day one, “We expect you to teach others and to learn beginning now.” For me, when I am teaching, I am reinforcing my own knowledge and I am constantly checking myself to be sure that I really know what it is I am teaching. That need alone causes me to want to learn more.
I could list out each and everyone at drumBEAT who had a role at Code Camp, but each drumBEAT “teacher” brought something to the Camp. Without each of the team members, we would not have been as successful. I was a bit “misty” when drumBEAT’s first intern, Aaron Cohrs, who is now our Sr. Developer and who was the central “teacher of coding,” gave an award to Emma who had been a true sponge for knowledge and who along with Sonny, made us give them ever more knowledge about coding. They did not want to just know how to code; they wanted to know how to make things happen with coding and if it was beyond this lesson, no problem: show me the next lesson. That is when you realize you gave something good away. Ok, that and when you see one student and then another smile at what they were accomplishing. At the end of the week, we received much, much more than we gave.
Thank you to all.