Want to teach technologies?


Things you should do as a teacher or TA

Read the curriculum!

Most everything you need to teach can be found at docs.railsbridge.org. All the curricula and the installfest instructions are there.

See something that could be better? Submit a pull request. The whole shebang is in RailsBridge's Docs repo on GitHub.

Teacher Training

You should go to a teacher training! They are often held within a few weeks of a workshop. You can run through the teacher training slide deck to give you some things to think about.

Join the mailing list

If you’d like to help maintain the curriculum or installfest, do meta-organizational things, or just have a great time with people who love teaching programming, join the workshop mailing list/Google group.

Teacher and TA FAQ

Should I be a teacher or a TA?

If this is your first workshop, you should probably TA. Otherwise, it depends! We often find that the most technically advanced volunteer in the room can make a great TA, while the person who can most enthusiastically move the class makes a great teacher.

Sample class configurations:

  • 7 students, 1 teacher, 2 TAs: teacher advances slides and generally moves the class forward, TAs help students who get stuck and explain specific topics as requested by the teacher.
  • 4 students, 2 teachers: teachers take turns leading different sections of the curriculum.
  • 12 students, 1 teacher, 3 TAs: teacher leads the class for most of the day, swapping out with a TA for certain sections. Teacher gets super tired around 3pm and a TA takes over at the break.

Do I know enough Rails to teach?

Maybe! Probably! Sometimes the best teachers are people who have most recently processed the material themselves, and can really relate to their students. Having multiple teachers/TAs in a room means that even if you get something wrong, you can look to the other volunteers to help clarify/correct.

We feel especially warm and fuzzy about former RailsBridge students coming back as TAs or teachers, so if you're in that bucket, please do!

I'm a dude. Can I teach?

Yep! Our goal isn't just to teach underrespresented folks tech skills. We also want to help our volunteers challenge their own preconceptions of what a programmer is! So, everyone wins! We are always trying to recruit students into teaching roles, so please help by encouraging your students to come back and volunteer.

I think this part of the curriculum is weird.

Good question? But really, please fork the curriculum and make a pull request with what you think would be better. This whole thing is open source and a 100% volunteer effort, so your contributions are very, very valued.

Do I need to come both days?

No, you can RSVP for either or both. Just remember to come!

Why should I do this?

You should volunteer at a workshop if:

  • You're passionate about teaching technology
  • You think it's weird that people in tech don't actually reflect the people in the world
  • You're excited about teaching the RailsBridge curriculum

And for good measure, you shouldn't volunteer at a workshop if:

  • You desire more attention, and think that students will provide that
  • You (just) want to show off your awesome tech skills
  • You're only in it for the free pizza
  • You want to find your one true love. (You can't ask anyone out at RailsBridge. It's a professional event, and we want all students to feel totally safe.)