Teaching – lesson 1, for myself

Teaching, for myself, such a title, what?

It’s more like a note to self that actually I gathered the lesson for myself than lesson for the kids that I’m trying to teach. 
Now as I have been a teacher for 2-3 months, working part time at my so called alma mater I would have to conclude it with the following line – I can not teach anybody anything, I can only make them think”- Socrates

Pildiotsingu i cannot teach anyone anything tulemus

What to do as a teacher in 2018?

I mean, if you found my site through google search and trying to figure out what to do with your class, I come bearing bad news for you, I do not know. But one thing that I do know is what did I do with my group of youngsters and what I decided to teach them and how.

Things not to do

For me this part was easy – don’t be the teacher that they’ll start to hate. 
As it was my first year and theirs as well, I tried the friendly approach to see where that leads me. I tried to be their friend and tried to be likeable and all that jazz. 

Things you’ll figure out real quick

Even if some of them will take you as a friend most of them will see a feasible “bro” to skip a class or two, because you’re their friend and what’s the worst you could possibly do? 
It’s not like you’d flunk them, right?!? Right??? RIGHT?

You need to flunk them if it’s needed!

Student that doesn’t do his or her assigned task will start to fade away. Not in the first place, but eventually! 
I started off with super enthusiastic workload for myself. I talked through the classes constantly trying to keep everyone at their attention, but after a few it started fading away, some guys were listening, some were playing Tetris and some were just wondering around in their thoughts.
It was then when I realised that I’d have to engage them more on the subject that I was teaching to them, not only blabber about it, though motivating students (note that I do not tell “kids” – it’s because some of the guys are nearly as old as me in the class, some even older than me, in all actuality older than my old man) to learn is the biggest part as a teacher. 

How to keep em’ engaged?

For me it wasn’t all that hard, or… maybe it was?

For me it was more of the things that I did in the past and what I thought that my students would like to do! 
In all actuality I presumed that all the people that come to learn computer sciences in a vocational school will be at least 50% gamers, I wasn’t wrong, so motivating them through gaming was the easy part. Although I would assume that not 50% of the people joining any school today are gamers, I’d recon that more or less 70% people have at least somewhat played some competitive games on-line.

It’s awesome, don’t hesitate to pivot

We have heard a lot about pivoting in start-up world, but never in the educational world! Why is that? Huge corporations and education have this one thing in common, and this is huge pile of corporate bullshit. Teachers won’t cross two straws to make it better and nor will the board of directors. But as a teacher you will have the chance to go with what you believe is the truth (do think that the “apologize” can come later, after the goal has been achieved). So do not wait for the boards approval to do something really cool with the students to rock out with your knowledge out (you all know how this sentence should end but, mmmkayy)

For me this part was having my students in a classroom and they had a LAN party! At first they all thought that it would be a 20 minute config issue and after that they’d just play on. In the actual picture they configured the switches, routers, servers, etc. for about 18 hours and got their gameplay time of 6-8 hours, but they did learn hell of a lesson. 

Now they do know how to set up a LAN party, and this, my dear readers, is invaluable.

Last but not least, i’ll add a picture of a exhausted teacher.

Note! Picture is taken by one of my students “Marje Kikas”


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