I’ve had the pleasure of teaching Intro to HTML/CSS for Girl Develop It here in Philly since our inaugural class! Sharing my knowledge of front-end code with women who want to learn it has been incredibly rewarding and one of my favorite things to do! GDI has chapters throughout the world and I’ve been asked a few times to share advice to first-time teachers about to head up a class.
- Don’t read/recite the slides - use them as a guide but make sure you are brining your expertise to the class. That’s what makes it different than the students reading the slides themselves.
- Make sure the students have access to the slides and the materials before class so they can have it locally on their machine - sometimes it’s hard to see the projector if it’s too bright or if the room is long/the student is in back of the room
- Encourage questions!
- If people ask questions that are beyond the scope of the course, don’t shoot it down. Be sure to touch on the subject and where they can find more info if they want to seek out more. The pacing of beginner classes can vary greatly, so don’t go too fast, but enable those with a more solid understanding to push themselves further.
- Make sure the TA’s feel comfortable helping people out while you continue. There’s a LOT to cover in these the short span of an intro class, so you don’t want to stop the whole class for a how to question about how to copy/paste - but you should stop the class if the question is applicable to everyone.
- Take scheduled breaks and let students know at the beginning of class when it will be. This helps ease their minds in regards to things like parking meter refills, lunch, brain timeouts.
- Go around the room and ask how people are doing. Some people will not ask for help until pressed. I can’t tell you how many times you can say “any questions?” and everyone will say no. But go around the room and up to someone and say ‘hows it going?” and questions will start pouring out.
- HAVE FUN!! :)
I’m also currently teaching Intro to HTML on Skillshare. Teaching without feedback from being in the same room is a completely different ballgame! Remember that the energy of an in-person class can really add to the experience and use that to keep the class fun and engaging!