The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.
– Mark Van Doren. Am very happy to be part of it🎉.
Mentoring and sharing knowledge are some of the things that I have a passion for doing aside from being a software developer. I feel very delighted when I am able to help in that regard.
My work at CodeImpact is mostly aligned to teaching and mentoring teenagers in the enterprises of computer science and computer programming through CodeImpact’s coding program, a program that brings together young people who are passionate about technology.
The coding program aims to train not only teenagers but also pre-teens who have the passion to learn how to code. I strongly believe that exposing young children to technology and especially through computer programming, helps to instill great virtues and skills such as computational and creative thinking, problem-solving to mention but a few. CodeImpact also focuses on developing soft skills such as communication and collaboration through a pair programming mode of learning that is in place.
I must admit that being around children and learning with them is very interesting because, unlike grownups, children are very inquisitive and so this helps them to learn a lot and quickly understand new concepts. As such that makes me really happy to be part of their learning experience.
Mentoring at CodeImpact for the past year has been very interesting and of course at some point bit challenging but nevertheless, I am grateful for having learned from those challenges for they have allowed me to grow into a better learning instructor.
Here are some tips that I would like to share with you. These tips are drawn from the lessons I have learned along the way;
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Tips and advice from my experience
Enrich the Coding Curriculum:
Your learning curriculum is very important and you should ensure that it’s flexible and easy to adjust based on the results you get when you have tested it with your learners. The Curriculum should encourage a more hands-on approach to learning and favor more learner engagement. This will help you achieve a more engaging and fun coding program.
Embody the stance of a Learner:
As a coding instructor, it’s important not to deliver sessions in “lecture mode”, otherwise your students will get bored. It would be nice if you encourage classroom engagement by presenting yourself to students as a learner rather than being an “I know it all” person. Put your learners in the driver’s seat because it encourages learners to freely share their ideas and thoughts with you which is really amazing. This makes the students also feel special because that way they feel that their opinions matter to you.
Incorporate unplugged activities before the start of your class such as “Simons says”, “heads up” and perhaps some short quizzes. Unplugged activities help in teaching key concepts such as sequencing, algorithms, variables without the need of a computer. These activities make learning interesting and memorable for learners given the fact that all senses are involved.
I highly encourage pair programming other than assigning learners individual projects. With pair programming, students are encouraged to communicate, collaborate, learn to give each other constructive feedback and they eventually learn to value teamwork which is very important. When it comes to the projects, I encourage that you don’t dictate what they have to build/create but rather, allow them to be creative to develop projects based on their imagination. You will be amazed by their work.
These are some of the lessons I have learned from my experience being a coding instructor and they have enabled me to achieve high classroom engagement and participation too.
If you wish to train or mentor future technology leaders, am certain that these tips will help you a lot too.
Otherwise, I am really glad to be part of the force that’s mentoring the next technology leaders and I look forward to mentoring more, training, and creating content that can enable future developers to have a great learning experience as they evolve into their next best selves as technology leaders.
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Thanks for reading until the end. I hope you enjoyed this article.
Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, I will be more than happy to hear from you.