So, a very unusual thing happened in my classroom last week. My students surprised me. I was having trouble with them not being engaged and excited about their coursework. We had gone through most of my curriculum and things were winding down. Maybe it was that they were just so efficient, but I think it was more that they didn’t really care to do their best. I didn’t do a good enough job at developing relevancy.
I probably had about 40 Chromebooks in different states of disrepair lying around my office. It was getting a little out of control. For the last couple of years I was playing with the idea of having a student-led repair shop, but never pulled the trigger. I brought down the boxes and boxes of Chromebooks and a few tools to my class.
I started with the basics: Changing a screen and checking if the battery was working. It only took a couple of days and they were really into it. We disassembled most of the Chromebooks for parts the first few days. My students wanted more. They wanted to fix these things!
Every one of them seemed to get into it. These guys were changing screens, LCD cables, power cords, batteries, motherboards. switching palm rests and keyboards like they had been doing it for years. Honestly, there are a couple of them that can change an LCD cable faster than I ever could have.
Pride – Relevancy – Engagement
I hadn’t seen these in a while and it was a very pleasant surprise. It was obvious that they saw the need and they had the skills to fill the need. That’s relevancy in my book. It’s all they wanted to do! The level of engagement was astonishing. Since they were so engaged in their work I truly had little to no management issues. You could tell there was a large sense of pride when they were able to give a repaired Chromebook back to a student that didn’t have insurance.
I love surprises!