On teaching

Sat, Dec 15, 2018 2-minute read

on teaching

Recently it has befallen upon me to tutor my peers in programming concepts and fundamentals. It struck me that I don’t know how to properly impart my knowledge. Where do I start, with strings, or variables. When do I talk about types and equality. Is it better to teach while or for loops first? Classes, OOP, recursion, comprehensions, async! What is important now versus what is the minimum necessary to give them the basics required to go away and learn on their own. In the end, I found it does not matter. Start, and progress from there. Listen to them, and discuss things; dont’t dictate. Pay attention to what they are asking, and try your best to make the experience relevant for them.

They are there to learn from you because you know something they don’t. Questioning whether you are ready to teach is just self-doubt. Feeling like you are a fraud, or that you will be outted as a pretender is that doubt manifesting itself within you. We have to let go of these feelings and be ready to engage with the community. No one knows everything, and you aren’t teaching someone who alreadys knows what you know. It’s also okay for a “student” to teach you something too, they aren’t trying to make you feel foolish so you shouldn’t take offence, or let it feed that monster called self-doubt. We are always learning, both student and teacher, mentor and mentee.

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