.June 29th, 2016 marked the end of my four-day trip to Poland where I taught my course English & Programming. What started as an idea on an NYC bus around Christmastime last year now has become a reality. I had taught the course at schools in the US, but this was the first time I taught it in a foreign country to students who are learning English as a second language. My course was conducted in English, but all the correspondence with schools was in Polish, and I had to communicate through a translator. The trip was a great success and gave me a lot of insights.
This year I visited two schools: Szkołę Podstawową im. Jana Pawła II w Tłuszczu and Zespół Szkół Publicznych nr. 1 w Kobyłce.
Please see update from Szkoły Podstawowej im. Jana Pawła II w Tłuszczu here: http://sptluszcz.pl/new/?p=3652
The first day of class consisted of a presentation to a large audience that included an overview of the importance of learning technology, critical thinking, and interesting technologies on the market. The second day included Java programming, NXT Robotics, and Scratch. On the second day the seating was limited to 20 students, due to the hands-on nature of the activities, and it was up to the school to nominate the participants. The interest from students exceeded the number of spaces available, and the schools had to use their discretion to select the participants. At the Primary School im. Jana Pawła II in Tłuszcz, the class was full, and in the Primary School nr. 1 in Kobyłka a few more students participated in the class. The last class ended at 4:00 PM. The bell rang, but the students and I ignored it and stayed for about a half hour longer.
PLANS FOR SCHOOL YEAR 2016/ 2017
With this early success, I have ambitious plans for the next year. I will continue teaching in schools in the US and abroad. However, the material will be more targeted. Abroad, I will focus on Java and Robotics, which were very well received. Domestically, I will introduce cyber security to my program and operate under a new division Kids 2 Kids (K2K), meaning that young people – still kids such as myself – will teach other kids.