This year, Mr. Bonneville got another one of the honors freshmen teachers, Mr. Oberhauser, on board, and now six sections of students would be creating their own products. As I prepped for the lesson, I thought about last year's work and how it could get better. I mean really, the products from last year were quite phenomenal. the morning of, I wheeled in my Airwolf3D printer and got all set up, assuming that I would be doing the same spiel as with the previous group of students. After being introduced as the guy who knows about 3D printing, I asked how many students were done with their Desmos graphs; all students raised their hands. OK fine, I thought, there is still more to help with. "How many of you are done with your work in Tinkercad?" About 90% of hands when up. In each class, regardless of which teacher's room I was in. Oh, and the other teacher who was doing this for the first time? He gave his class the project a month ago, and they were all done as well!
Great. So... you don't need me anymore.
At first, it was a major bummer. After all, I love teaching, especially in an environment like what Mr. Bonneville has created. His students are respectful, challenge and support one another, and their work ethic is phenomenal. So yeah, it really deflated me to think that all the work had been done, and what remained for me was... the guy who printed.
Here are a few of their creations:
Yes, I am that out of touch.
What really struck me through all of this as I had a chance to reflect was how a teacher one year ago asked me to come in and work with his students through the entirety of the project. Skip forward a year and that same teacher is now so comfortable with it, as are his students, that my contributions are for more of the technical elements than the instructional shifts.
Isn't that my goal as an instructional coach? Isn't that what we want to happen on both the teacher's side as well as the coach's side?
I do, and I'm going to keep working on being an unnecessary element in the learning process, the learning environment, and the student products. It'll take a while, so I know there is job security, but I am seeing progress and it is a whole lot of fun.
Thank you to Airwolf3D for making a printer that can withstand the printing of 210 student products. Thank you to Tinkercad for creating a product so accessible. And thank you to Mr. Bonneville and Mr. Oberhauser for taking a risk that generated so many powerful products from your students.
If you want to see some more amazing products on Desmos, take a look at these:
Folks, the kids are alright.