Friday, January 29, 2016

A reason to teach....

Yesterday I went in school to teach AP Computer Science before I left for ECET2.   But there was one problem.   I couldn't get my program to work, I had the code from pervious years and it worked back then. Wednesday night before class I could not get my own code to work.  I had to pack for the conference,  spend time with family and try to get my lesson to work.   I had the code that I used before, and kept getting a null pointer exception I couldn't figure out why. So at 10:30, I went to bed an woke up early Thursday to give it fresh eyes.  And nope! Couldn't find my error.  So I went to class with the lesson fully knowing I had a huge problem.  I was hoping that as a class we could find the error.

I was nervous, that we were not going to get the program to work.   But I started teaching anyway, thinking it would be a good teachable moment.  We got to the point where we hit compile and...  the girls' code worked and mine didn't.  Sigh of relief, but then I said to them "Okay what is wrong with my code? I can't find my error."

That's when the awesome moment happened! The student who when she has errors in her code gets frustrated with always feeling she is the one who is struggling (although no more than the rest of them).  She has been working so hard, but the programs are just taking longer than she wants to come together.  She has been meeting with me regularly and spending lots of time working to refine her ability.

Well SHE found my error!!!! I had 9 colors instead of 8 in my array and that's why I was getting null pointer! (WHOOPS I must have made edits to it demoing it in previous years) I was so proud of her! She had an aha moment!  It was awesome!  I saw her confidence in her ability come back!!  It was great to see her walk out of the classroom all smiles.  She got the gold star of the day!  I was so proud of her!

This is why I teach.