Throughout this lesson I'll be giving you an overview of what we expect from our Teachers at CodeYourFuture, how we expect lessons to run and some practical tips on how to be a better teacher.
Our Pedagogical Approach (5 minutes)
We aim for all of our lessons to be community events. This means that we try to actively reject the Lecture style teaching approach (i.e. one person talking for four hours) and move to a structure where
No one person dominates the lesson
We use lots of people to provide individual support
We promote group based activities
Our lessons are broadly structured so that there is a small amount of teaching followed by a short exercise to put into practice what they've just seen.
The taught content can (and should) take the form of a variety of techniques including
Broader details about running a class can be found here.
The aims of our lessons are too
Introduce new concepts with sound pedagogy and planning
Create a space to explore questions from coursework
Provide community and support for the students (and for you!)
Most of the learning in our course does not happen in the classroom. It happens during the 10-20 hours of coursework that the students have each week.
Your Role in the Classroom (5 minutes)
A full description of a Lead Teacher's role is on the main docs site with the other roles.
Preparing For A Class (20 minutes)
The Syllabus is our central resource for what we teach at CodeYourFuture; that doesn't mean it's the end of what you should teach.
Everything we do is welcome to be remixed and changed as you see fit. However:
Developing content takes roughly 4-5x the time it takes to deliver it
All of our content should be well planned, have instructor notes and have supporting coursework
Content should have well thought out exercises with solutions provided
It should be structured into the curriculum and targeted at the right level.
That means that for the majoring of the time you will be using material
Making slides/notes is the best way to prepare
Make sure you understand the exercises
Add your resources/notes to the Syllabus when you're done by opening a PR.
In the end the Syllabus is a tool, not a set of instructions
Use it to help you teach better.
Don't be afraid to remix, change or edit it.
You know your trainees better than any of us; don't push forward just because the syllabus says so.
Don't be afraid to add more time to the lesson or module.
Your goal is to deliver the Learning Objectives and get your trainees to the next module equipped with the skills they need to progress.
What is Bad Teaching? (15 minutes)
We've all experienced bad teachers in our lives - let's talk about them
Discussion (5 Minutes)
What is an experience you've had with a bad teacher? What was it that made that made from your point of view as a student?
List out the ways that you've experienced bad teaching
Exercise (10 minutes)
Spend a few minutes watching this video of purposefully bad teaching.
While you're watching - I'd like you to take notes of anything you notice that could be considering bad teaching.
If you need more time, watch the video again to catch everything!
No proper start to the lesson to welcome students
The lesson starts with no pre-amble or recap of the previous content
Lesson starts with a semi-aggressive tone
This could make quieter students to feel afraid or timid
Stuttering, saying "um", "er"
Could be interpreted as lacking in experience in what he is teaching
Using imprecise words when describing
Using multiple works to describe the same content can be confusing for students
Using terms that seem more advanced than the content he is teaching
Using words or phrases that our beyond a
Calls a task "very simple" and says "as you'd expect". Using the word "of course"
If a student does not understand the content, it can make them feel stupid
Checks his phone part way though
Shows that the class is not his number on priority
This also break the tempo of the class
Writes code but not talking through exactly what he is typing
This might be fine for more advanced students but this will leave weaker students behind
Code is very small on the screen
Students at the back of the class will be unable to see what he is typing
Does nothing to engage his class - he is talking at them
In short bursts this is okay, but given longer lectures people will naturally tune out
Does not check for understanding with the students
Without checking if the students are understand there is not way to tell if his teaching is working
Makes a mistake but tells the students to not worry about it
A mistake in a lesson can be an important learning moment
Better Teaching (15 minutes)
1) Dissolve the Screen
To Dissolve the Screen is to heighten students’ awareness of the back-and-forth exchange that still exists between us so they feel it more
. For example:
“I see the work you’re sending me, and it matters”
“I’m still here, we’re still connected”
What does the teacher do to "Dissolve the Screen"?
Start the video at 1:07
2) Leap of Faith
Teaching remotely can feel very strange
(Why might teaching remotely feel more strange?)
Take the Leap of Faith
Teaching is theatre
Act as if you had an audience
You are always fighting against disengagement
This is doubly true for online teaching
3) Cold Calling
Cold Calling feels weird and uncomfortable - even invasive
However, students appreciate it
They often respond with how engaged they felt in the lesson even if they don't know this is the reason
Don't be discouraged by a bad or incorrect answer, use it as a learning moment
4) Everyone Responds
What asking if - for example - everyone understands the task for the exercise ask them to make a physical movement to say if they do
E.g. a head nod, a thumbs up
It's important that you wait for all of the students to respond. What they do matters.