The frustrations I have been feeling at trying to figure out how to do all my things better to help my students learn and improve have been rampant lately. I know I can still do some things differently here in the last six weeks of the school year, but I also know a lot of this will have to be put to thought, consideration, and much planning this summer. This school year isn't "lost" but it will feel like I'm just slugging it out and limping to the finish line.
So it was very refreshing to read Gina McCarley's blog post on AbstractingCS today, "Keep Your JOY, Know Your WHY, and DON'T BREAK THEM". It was a timely and needed reminder that the reason we do all of this is greater than all the little minutiae of the content. Here is the tail of her post, which sums it up quite well:
At this sometimes stressful time of year, my advice to you:
- Know from where your joy comes. No one can take it you have to give it away.
- During your battles, remember your WHY. I have shared my WHY, you need to know your WHY. What keeps you going?
- And a big one, DON’T BREAK THEM (students) and MAKE THEM HATE COMPUTER SCIENCE! What we are teaching is foundational skills. Big Ideas, algorithms, abstractions, syntax, protocol, and a lot of other stuff. I bet there is a selection (IF/Else) statement in UT Austin’s cancer detection pen. If you are from UT Austin, let me know. Our classes are stepping stones to bigger and better things. Don’t let your students feel your stress trying to get everything in before the finish line. Don’t make them hate Computer Science. Do what you can as the clock clicks down to the exams. What you teach is important!