My Year So Far — in Amazing Ladies
taught by humans has had a delightfully (or stressfully…) busy year so far, I simultaneously can’t believe it’s already March and can’t believe that it’s only March as we’ve done so much. [I have another blog post in the works about all our activities, but am waiting on sign off regarding content, pictures and whatnot] Through this busyness, I am in the wonderfully blessed position of meeting people who inspire me extremely regularly. I’ve decided to take International Women’s Day as an opportunity to reflect on the girls and women who have touched my year so far, and provided me with determination to keep going!
Girls I have taught:
- (This is my favourite story of the year, as it was a trying day, but this reminded me why we do what we do) The lovely shy little girl who didn’t want to work in pairs with other children and hardly spoke all morning, who struggled using Scratch with the mice I bought for the Raspberry Pis (great learning point that not all 6 year olds are competent mouse users as it wasn’t just her!). Who I worried was having a horrible time and would decide she hated coding. Who after lunch was the only kid out of seven to wire up her LED correctly first attempt, and to add another LED all by herself. Who then became extremely chatty and was going round saying “Let me show you” to the others and giving people sellotape to stick their lights because that was what I’d done to hers. Future engineer in the making!
- The tiny adorable little six year old who came to my course for 8–10 year olds, as she was going to miss the course for her age group and the plan was for her to do Scratch while the others did Python. Well, she didn’t want to do Scratch. She wanted to do Python like everybody else and told me she’d be okay. She absolutely rocked it and built herself a chatbot to order pizzas!
- The wonderfully patient and clever girl on the same course, who worked with the 6 year old when her Raspberry Pi kept overheating. Who wired LEDs and got them flashing in different patterns. Who was such a pleasure to teach, and I hope continues with coding.
- The excitable girl on that course who just wanted to keep adding LEDs to her Pi and making them flash. Who proudly teased the boys that she had more lights than them (before helping them with theirs).
- The 10 amazing girls from Swanlea school who I taught for two days at Worldpay. Never have I had such an easy two days teaching. They threw themselves into everything they did, and came up with spectacular innovation ideas for companies like ASOS and Sainsburys.
- The passionate girls from the school I run code club at, who came and helped me set up Raspberry Pis over their half term (I forgot my screwdrivers so we had to use hair pins #femaleEngineers). One whose drive and determination makes me smile weekly (as it reminds me of a little me), who applies for every opportunity available and is always looking for more (she’s currently keen to get some coding work experience, so hit me up if you can help). One who is wise beyond her years, and despite doubting herself is picking up Python quickly and always wondering how she can apply technology to important issues (like tracking dolphins to study them!)
Women who empower:
- Nana Yaa Mensah — The mum (and just completely incredible woman — an award winning colleague of mine) who came along to help out at one of the courses and was a breath of calm and comfort to whoever needed it. Having her around just made my day.
- Megan Greet — The teacher from a local school who pushes her students and provides amazing opportunities, including code club and research projects, but also just gives her students individual attention which visibly makes them shine.
- Claire Hardy — The awe-inspiring business woman who is not only a role-model for any young girl, but drives the company she works for to create diversity initiatives. In doing so, she gives opportunities to companies like taught by humans and helps us grow our social side.
This list is from two months of the year, here’s hoping the next ten months bring many more wonderful girls and women into my life. If you’d like the opportunity to meet and inspire our next generation of awesomeness, taught by humans are recruiting Volunteer Humans to help us grow. Keeping very much with the theme of International Women’s Day — #BetterWithBalance — I am taking my own advice and asking for help. Please if you are interested in what we do, passionate about tech education and inequality, and want to support us in our growth, read this Call for Volunteer Humans and get in touch.
Happy International Women’s Day — #BetterWithBalance