“It’s not like school at all!”


Daniel took our Video Game Programming for Kids course in 2005. His father sent us this letter of thanks.

August 20, 2005

Dear Winston:

I want to thank you for teaching Lunar Repair Yard, the amazing two-week course in computer game programming you gave this summer. I was really impressed that you could teach such a complex and sophisticated topic to kids, and at the same time make it so compelling and fun. Daniel says, “It’s not like school at all!”

Daniel learned a great deal about simple programming in Python language. He now has a good grasp of the building blocks of computer game programming. He is still playing with the ideas by writing little programs and testing them. One great thing I have seen is that he is now not afraid to experiment with programming. He went out and bought a book and continues to learn what he can on his own.

kids_video_game_courseDaniel enjoyed the class tremendously. I think the thing he liked best was that different kids could work together on different aspects of a project. The way you structured the class, with time for individual and group activities, and some playtime, seemed exactly right. Your ability to get across all that complicated information, through examples and projects, shows that you have great teaching skills. I saw that the kids were able to relate to you as both a mentor and skilled programmer. Your constant enthusiasm and encouragement made all the difference.

I know that Daniel’s basic computer skills have improved since the class. His new understanding of the basic concepts of programming allows him to address the computer in a much more sophisticated way, whether he is searching the internet, making pictures, or solving math problems.

Thank you again. I know that Daniel is still very enthusiastic about programming and he would love to continue studying with you if you teach the class again.

Best wishes,

Philip B.
Washington, DC


“I am so happy we ended up doing it!”


Stratolab is doing a private course with Yael’s son on the Upper West side of Manhattan. He is learning about computer programming and making video games.

“I am so happy we ended up doing it! [My son] loves spending time with you!”

— Yael E., July 2005

“Kind, Patient, Knowledgeable”


Here is a very generous letter of recommendation from the mother of one of my former pupils.

December 11, 2004

Hello,

I am writing to communicate my utmost respect for Winston Wolff, both as a wonderful person and as an exceptional teacher of young people. As a Resource Teacher for gifted youth in a public school district in California, I can vouch for the exceptional caliber of Winston’s moral character and keen abilities. I offer the highest, unqualified personal recommendation of Winston to all who wish to take his classes.

I have known Winston for about a year, since he tutored my 12-year old son and then his friends in the details of how to program computers at Lawrence Hall of Science, near the University of California at Berkeley, California. Through his expert, calm, logical leadership, Winston taught my son and his friends each week for three hours, for six months. Winston warmly welcomed their questions and helped them to conceptualize and understand the abstractions of the computer programming they were mastering. Each class, he thought ahead about appropriate next steps in his instruction and created special lessons to build a bridge to the new information my son and his friends were learning. Winston also took the initiative to send emails home to his students and families each week, so that his students could proudly share their work at home with their families, and could continue to reinforce their understanding of the process on their own. I have also noted that the young people he taught were able to apply what they learned with Winston in a variety of other contexts, to transfer their insights to new situations and to formulate new thinking.

As a teacher, Winston is kind, patient, knowledgeable, and treats young people with a special tenderness and respect. He encourages divergent and creative thinking, and has an ability to find what young people want to learn. His optimism about technology helping the world and opening up new adventures for humans pervades his teaching. His enthusiasm and skill as a dedicated teacher help young people’s abilities, both actual and potential, emerge and flourish. Winston sparks the abilities youth have, but clearly has his own spark in all that he does.

Both as a parent and as an educator of gifted youth, I offer my highest recommendations in support of Winston Wolff.

Sincerely,

Gail M.
Teacher – Gifted Youth
Berkeley Public School District
Berkeley, California