Teacher's Experience with coding on Scratch

On 04 April 2018, I was very excited to meet few of the teachers to discuss about the year in the end of year conversation from a low income all girls school where the Code to Enhance Learning program had an intervention.

I was ready with all my questions that I had to ask to gain as many insights as I can and soon two teachers entered the room for the conversation. After exchanging few pleasantries we got started.

As we progressed, my excitement grew ten times seeing the enthusiasm of the teachers with which they were expressing their thoughts, realizing the importance of coding and how simple Scratch is. I felt elated when they started making connections that how Scratch can be used to teach Arabic letters.

Usually, I am not very fond of taking videos and selfies however over the period of 3-4 years in education especially in low income communities I have realized how important is it to share and that too share with honesty so that it helps people understand the work and needs of the kids. Its like sowing seeds and you never which seed will grow how and benefit others. So, I paused the conversation and shared that we should take a video of this.

I can still vaguely remember the initial days of training when one out of the group of 5-6 teachers asked what is coding? I tried my best to explain about it and the benefits of coding still could sense reluctance. However, I feel grateful for them that they showed courage and decided that lets move ahead with the program and we will understand more about it as we progress.

Since then its been like a roller coaster ride with downfalls like behavior management of kids, timing and pacing of the lessons, assessments not working, etc. However, it came up with regular leaps as when teachers used to share that how kids are using concepts like sequence in their writing lessons, parents asking for Scratch software, kids making certain projects which would touch hearts.

This video reminds me of a poem called Ithaca which talks about importance of journey when you set out for a destiny and the true treasure lies in the journey itself. I feel that its the journey that the kids, teachers, school leader and other stakeholders have been through for the year which has helped us reach here, the place where a teacher, with negligible knowledge of coding, from a low income school is confident about her ideas with coding to teach kids in the best possible about the current digital world.

Irfan Lalani

08 May 2018

 

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