Cultural Code

1. Be cool.
This doesn’t mean “too cool” for other people. It means be the teammate you would like to have. Help when you can. Say no if you are busy, but say it with grace. Respect others’ projects! You don’t have to love everything everyone does, but you do have to respect others’ efforts. It’s not your job to judge someone else’s project.

2. If you didn’t make it, you don’t play it.
It’s easy to start up Scratch and end up just “playing” the Scratch games without actually coding it. We tell kids, “If you need five or ten minutes of inspiration time, we get that. But please keep it to a minimum. You can do that at home. But here is where we have people who can help you code. Please maximize that!”

3. Ask three before me. (Ask each other first.)
There’s a lot of knowledge in the room. Don’t assume that only the Mentors can help. Help each other! Everyone gets better that way.

4. Teach them to fish, so they can eat for a lifetime.
Mentors don’t do for. We show them how to look, offer insights and concepts, teach them how to think. Don’t build their projects. Don’t give, lead toward.

5. Club, not school.
Remember that CoderDojo is not a traditional school experience, where the teacher directs the learning and chooses the projects. We are here to build trust in ourselves and the willingness to learn what we need to know. Mentors trust you to do a good job. Mentors are not the oracle of your learning. We are here to show you how to learn on your own; how to identify what can be looked up and when an idea needs a white board and other people.

6. Reward risk-taking.
That’s how all good things are actually going to happen. You need lots of ideas to come up with a good one, which means there are going to be plenty of not-as-good ideas. No worries, those aren’t failing. They’re a necessary part of growth.