Today I’m teaching a group of five year old girls computing fundamentals and in front of me right now is a stack of material that’s looking decidedly ambitious – we’re going to cover a fair bit of the English 2014 Key Stage 1 syllabus for Computing.
Oddly I’m a bit nervous.
I don’t usually get nervous before giving a talk. Today is different. Today I’m not really talking, I’m teaching. My memory of great teachers tells me there’s a big difference between the two things. For me it was the difference between mental inspiration and stagnation.
The shining light from my schooldays was the aptly nicknamed Shiner, my physics teacher. Shiner, so called due to his dazzling pate, was Alka-Seltzer for my brain following a sadly stodgy History – History was taught by the deputy-head, so he’d come in for 5 mins at the start, tell us to copy a bunch of pages from a book then bugger off again, often not even coming back.
Shiner was on the Ultraviolet end of the teaching spectrum and could, almost at will, ignite the entire class in fits of laughter and then before you knew it he’d have you buried in text doing actual work. It never felt like work and Shiner was genius at that alchemy. If I get stuck I’ll think of Shiner!
I’ll report back later but the nerves have gone somewhat as my five year old daughter has just told me we need to leave!