Meet the lead: Margot Philippe from Brugge

Name:  Margot Philippe
Dojo: Brugge
Responsibility in Dojo: Lead coach
Dojo meets in: College Vives
Dojo was founded in : 2013
Number of coaches (on average): 5
Number of kids (on average): 20

What makes your Dojo special?
We’ve got a solid base of enthusiastic Ninja’s, but every time some new kids discover the IT world with us. The knowledge of our coaches is very diverse, and that is how we can focus on what the kids want to learn, instead of what can be teached.

We have a bunch of ninja’s who don’t join every month, but come to a Dojo when they have questions about the stuff that they’re exploring on their own. That is the goal that we want to achieve every time: make kids enthusiastic about IT, learn them about it as much as possible, until the point that they are confident and curious enough to explore on their own.

You need to notice the desire for change before they get bored.

Some good advice for other coaches:
Always focus on the kids. They can enjoy learning a program / language, but at some point, they want to do something else. This can happen in the first session, after 2, after 6 months, …. But you need to notice the desire for change before they get bored. After that, you can see what the next challenge can be. Maybe the kid is more of a designer than a developer? Maybe its tank of inspiration is empty? Or perhaps the kid just has a bad day, and it can’t focus for 3 hours straight.
The next step is much easier to execute if you had that little chat, at the right time. You can show them for example that the program has a lot more possibilities than they thought; you can let them switch tracks; you can ask a coach if they want to explore some new things; you can suggest them to walk around and learn from the other kids; or you can even ask them to help some other kids.
This way, the kid is a happy kid and remains a happy kid. And that, my fellow coaches, is a big reward at the end of a Dojo.