8 weeks ago, I knew that there were some challenging times ahead.
I’d received the great news that I’d been chosen to receive a Fellowship from social enterprise Code First Girls. This is an opportunity usually offered to women from a STEM degree background, so I was both excited and nervous about what was in store!
Part of this competitive leadership accelerator was teaching an Introduction to Python Programming course to 20+ women interested in learning to code.
This was going to be tough because:
- I only learned to code last June.
- All the classes were entirely remote.
- This was my first time teaching a coding curriculum.
- My co-instructors and I had never met.
- I was starting a new internship at the same time.
- We needed to provide support to students in class and throughout the week.
- Most of our students had never touched code before.
- We’re in a national lockdown!
2 months later, so I’m so proud of what my group has managed to achieve.
Here’s what I learned from those original challenges:
- Being new to something can be a superpower – you understand how to make concepts accessible to others.
- Building community online requires work, but is worth every second!
- Engage, adapt and improve set frameworks to the needs of your audience.
- Our weekly instructor pre-session meet ups and post-session debriefs helped us to quickly build a team identity, and continually improve.
- Sometimes, commiting to your passions is difficult (looking at you, my 8am-8.45pm Tuesdays!) but this is part of the journey.
- Creating clear structures for teams can help manage workload and expectations.
- Give students the opportunity to be self-led learners, and you’ll be astounded with what they produce.
- Some days, it can be easy to forget the continual pressure we’re under – be proud of yourself and your achievements.
Next, I’m looking forward to presenting the outcomes of the educational research project that I have been building with other Fellows.
I have loved my Fellowship journey, and look forward to using this experience to further my work to improve gender diversity in technology.