Never give up, keep trying

Yesterday, 3 students and I left Avila College early in the morning to attend and speak at the annual conference of Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria, DigiCon15. We were there speak about our experience in the first year of VCE Algorithmics.

Our session was straight after morning tea. We spoke to a group of teachers considering offering the subject at their respective schools. I presented my experience as a teacher and the students told of their own joys and struggles with the content of this very ambitious course.

The common themes in what all four of us said were: Great content and lack of resources. The teachers in attendance left with a better idea of the work involved in teaching the subject: I told them it would take over their lives in the first year. I was not exaggerating!

The most important part of our presentation came at the end, when the audience had 15 minutes to ask us questions. Most of these were directed to the students and they answered them brilliantly. One answer that stuck in my mind came in response to the question: "What is the best advice you could give to prospective students?" They said: "Never give up, keep trying. The problems are hard but you get a great feeling when you solve them." These are the very students for whom this course was designed.


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