At the end of this week I will be ending a 10 week long experience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. During the school year I teach English Language Arts at an elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana. I am currently getting my Master of Arts degree in Higher Education so I thought I would get some experience working with high school students over the summer. The camp at MIT is a coding, engineering, and robotics academy where students ages 14-18 create their own project.
Coming to camp I was very nervous.
I don't know anything about robotics, engineering, or coding.
I have spent the last four years working with children not teenagers.
I was moving 1,000 miles away for the summer.
However, within the first couple days with students I realized my nervousness was unnecessary. Students arrived from all of the world including Italy, Dubai, Russia, and Ghana. They were eager to learn and excited for adventures in Boston.
Over the course of the summer I think I learned more than they did. I learned that teenagers love to talk and as an adult it is my job to listen. By listening to my students I was able to learn about their cultures, language, and interests. I learned that high schoolers all over the world have the same worries about grades, college, and careers. They also all love Fortnite.
I feel very lucky to have had this summer with my international students. We took the time to learn from eachother and grow as citizens of the world.