I don't know... yet!

While in graduate school for education, I began coding. My first project was to create a website for a friend's non-profit organization. From the minute I got started, I found helpful friends and friends of friends. I was introduced to a computer science professor at a nearby college. He took me under his wing because he felt that more girls should have the opportunity to learn about computer science and there were hardly any in his classes.

The next year, I began teaching elementary school students how to code. Most of the time, I didn’t know the answers to their questions. Not knowing all the answers actually empowered my students more than I ever expected. We researched, tried code we found online together, and more often than not we were able to get something working... even if it was a paired down version of what we set out to make. We learned together.

“I don’t know” is a powerful statement, but “I don’t know yet, let’s figure it out” was what glued my class together. Not knowing gave my students a first person account of how to learn. It also taught us how to be honest with ourselves about what we know and don’t know.

The older I get, the more I learn I don’t know. But I know if I’m honest, we might learn a little bit together.

Thank you all for being teachers.

Joy

All Replies

Posted on December 09, 2023

There is a proverb (I think it's of African origin) that says : "A wise man never knows all. Only fools know everything" and that exactly what your are explaining. It's hard at first not to know but as you said it empowers the students to raise up the challenge.

And you are right, when need more girls in coding!

Posted on December 11, 2023

Thank you for share Joy!

You are right! Going from I don't know to I don't know yet is a powerful change of mindset. Like you, as I get older, I am learning there are a lot of things that I don't know yet, but I am always willing to learn. Many teachers share this attribute of lifelong learning.

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