Course evals are in, and I’m sharing a few highlights so that I can look back at this post when I need some encouragement. (Also, let’s be real, I want to brag. This is legit the thing that I do best that I enjoy doing, and I’m so proud.)
“This was my favorite reason to come to campus.”
“I have a teaching credential. Everything I learned about how to teach, I find you doing.”
“During this course you tried to help everyone who was stuck with any problem, not all teachers do this.”
“Suggestions: Sorry, but I can’t think of any. You’re a great teacher and Foothill is lucky to have you. I thoroughly enjoyed the course.”
“For me this class was a test to see if this is what I want to do as a job. I know I’m in the right place.”
I think this “I know I’m in the right place” hit me the hardest. Computer Science has become to appear as this almost elitist field and only those that “have it” can succeed and feel like they belong. One of my goals as an instructor is to break down those feelings brought on by impostor syndrome – so knowing that this person feels like they belong is, well, one of the best things I could hear.
I must share this wonderful moment I just had:
One of my students wrote in their journal (we do journals at the start of each class) that one of their goals is to take what they’ve learned from the course and introduce their daughters to coding.
This reminds me of a powerful message I heard at Grace Hopper from Dr. Sue Black (of Tech Mums): “when you teach a mom to code, you improve the lives of at least two people.”
I had a pleasant conversation with my neighbor on the plane today. He was a young business guy who, after learning about my field, started to ask questions about what exactly coding is, how computers work, and how new programming languages are invented. We ended up talking for about an hour and a half and he was genuinely interested in learning more even after the plane landed. He was most amused by why we use the term “bug” to refer to an error in code.
I’m a bit out of teaching practice (been taking a few months off to travel), but I was so happy to see that I jumped back into that position without too much difficulty, and it was the motivation I needed as I am now starting to go into the application process in my new area.
Thanks, Shawn! Hope you continue to learn!