Today, as I was moving around the room during robotics club, checking in with each team, I had a moment where I realized I really liked what was happening. I still have reservations about robotics as a pathway to Computer Science, but there is so much the kids have gotten out of this. They no longer call screws and nuts “thingys”. They’re screws and nuts–and the tools to work with them are 3/64 or 5/32 allen wrenches not “thing-a-ma-bobs”. Lefty-loosy, righty tighty is no longer needed. We talk about L-pieces and C-channels. They sound like they know what they’re doing. Each team member (mostly) has a job to do and does it. They’re working together fairly well. They’re getting a lot out of this.
And just before that, I had a study hall where students chatted with me about their experience visiting upper school classes that day and how they’re looking forward to upper school. Two girls were chatting with each other about books and one said to the other, “I didn’t know you talked so much. I’ve never really heard you talk.” I smiled to myself, because I knew she talked and I knew she was interesting to talk to, and I was happy to see her classmates recognizing that.
And in homeroom, we talked about upper school, the upcoming holidays and speeches that they’re preparing. I really enjoyed hanging out with them.
And that’s what makes the long hours worth it. Because you hope you’re making a difference in these young people’s lives. And really, they’re making a difference in yours.