Teacher Training

Julie Cameron   |   @jewlofthelotus   |   @gdiannarbor   |   #gdia2

The Plan.

  • We'll talk about GDI Ann Arbor
  • We'll practice public speaking
  • We'll talk next steps and tips
    for teaching with us

Grab some snacks!

Why are we here?

  • To ask & answer questions
  • To learn and share some teaching tips
  • To improve our public speaking skills
  • To give and receive feedback
  • To become more self-aware
  • Build our awesome community!

About Girl Develop It

What is Girl Develop It?

Girl Develop It is here to empower and assist women
interested in getting into and advancing in the tech industry
through affordable and accessible programs.

  • Started in 2010 in New York City
  • Now in > 45 cities
  • > 29,000 members nationwide
  • > 1,000 members educated each month

Our GDI Brand

  • Friendly & Approachable
  • Consistent & Trusted
  • Maintaining a judgement-free zone
  • Generous with our time & knowledge
  • Helping connect people

About GDI Ann Arbor

About GDI Ann Arbor

  • Launched in June 2014
  • > 600 members as of 1/1/15
  • Aiming for 5 events / month in 2015
  • Events organized across 4 tracks
  • Workshops, Presentations, Panels, Code & Coffee, Parties


Julie Cameron

Ronda Bergman


Marisa Nicole Ring

Kristi Smythe

We Hangout twice a month to plan out our calendar, provide event status updates,
evaluate partnerships & opportunities, and make sure we're sticking to the GDI mission.

Event Types

  • Workshops
    • 2, 3, 4, 6, 8+ hours
    • Weeknights Mon-Thurs; Weekends
    • 6p-9p; 10a-3p
    • Paid, if 3+ hours.
  • Presentations
    • 45-90 minutes
    • Weeknights Mon-Thurs
    • 6:30p-8:30p
    • Free
  • Panels
    • 60-90 minutes
    • Weeknights Mon-Thurs
    • 6:30p-8:30p
    • Free

Event Structure

  1. Organizer and Facilitators arrive early
  2. Organizer handles food / logistical Q's
  3. Facilitators help set up chairs, tables, refreshments
  4. Instructor arrives, Organizer assists with set up
  5. Facilitators (et al) greet students, help TAs get set up
  6. Leader / Organizer gives intro spiel
  7. Instructor includes a break every two hours
  8. Instructor wraps up on time, or a bit early to allow for questions.
  9. Organizer leads clean up with Facilitators and is last to leave

* An individual may have more than one role.

Paid Workshops

  • Girl Develop It is proud to generously compensate its leaders and instructors for all of the time, expertise, and thoughtful planning that goes into prepping for classes and maintaining community outreach.
  • Some leaders and instructors use this as bonus income
  • Some leaders and instructors donate their portion back to the chapter

Where Do Workshop Fees Go?

  • 50% of class fees go to instructor, paid once a month via check
  • 25% goes to the chapter leaders
  • 15% goes to Girl Develop It HQ, which supports all chapters
  • 10% goes back into to our chapter fund

You will receive a 1099 form to fill out so that GDI can pay you,
and you'll be responsible for paying taxes on this income.

Fun with Public Speaking

Qualities of a good speaker?

Exercise: Introductions

One person stands up in front of the group, introduces themselves and shares a few things about themselves.

We give secret, written feedback:

  • 1 thing the speaker does really well
  • 1 thing the speaker could improve on

Introduce Yourself

  • Your Name
  • 3 Facts About You
  • How did you get to Logic Solutions today?
  • Use any teaching tools you'd like. Projector, white board, paper, etc.

Feedback: You do {this} well. You could improve on {this}.

Collect Feedback

  • Look at your feedback cards.
  • Set 1 or 2 goals for yourself.

Fun with Teaching

Qualities of a good teacher?

Exercise: Pairs & Shapes

We're going to practice giving instructions.

Why we're doing this exercise
  • It mimicks what we do when we teach
  • Forces us to communicate with words, not visuals
  • We can see if our communication was successful

Breakout Into Pairs

Perhaps with someone you haven't met before today.

Exercise : How to Play


  • Pick up the first printout.
  • Instruct the students to assemble the pieces to match what you see on the printout.
  • No peeking!
  • Ask questions.
  • Decide when to stop the "lesson".


  • Listen to the instructor and assemble the shapes.
  • No peeking!
  • Do not show the teacher what you are working on.
  • Ask questions.

Exercise : Takeaways

  • What were the challenges?
  • How could you tell if the student "got it"?
  • What did you do when the student didn't get it?
  • Who asked the most questions, student or teacher?

Teaching with GDI

Step 1

Reach out and let us know you're interested.
If we don't reach out to you first!

  • What topic(s) would you like to cover?
  • Do you have existing slides or workshop material?
  • Do you have any previous teaching or speaking experience?

Don't have slides? No worries!

GDI has an extensive, existing "core" curriculum.

You may use GDI slides "as is"

You may fork & modify them (review required)

You may create a whole new slide set (review required)

No previous experience? No problem!

We've got a few options...

  • GDI Ann Arbor & Detroit host occasional "Teacher Training" workshops - oh hi!
  • We use TAing as a way to get familiar with the environment and teaching styles.
  • Prior to your workshop, we'll arrange for a mock-teaching session.
    This will give you the opportunity to present 3-5 slides and receive some feedback and teaching tips.

Step 2

Complete the GDI teacher pre-reqs.

New Instructor Requirements

  • All instructors need to TA a class at least 2 times before they can become an instructor. Sign Up Here!
  • The exception is if you've worked closely with a leader, have strong referrals, and/or have in some way already demonstrated your teaching or speaking skills.
  • Complete a mock-teaching session. Present 3-5 slides to the chapter leader. Receive feedback.

Step 3

Get on the GDI event schedule!

How We Decide
Who Teaches & When

it's magic
  • We do our best to schedule the right classes at the best time for our community's needs.
  • ~2 paid workshops per month. ~2 free presentation or panel events per month. These #s are changing.
  • We re-evaluate community needs and set a rough schedule every 6 months.
    Including ideal dates, locations, formats, topics, and even speakers.
  • We try to confirm each event's location and speaker 3 months in advance.
  • If you express interest in teaching with us, we will try to get you in the line up within 6 months.
    It may be further out, depending on the existing event lineup and resource availability.

Step 4

I'm on the schedule! What now?

New Instructor Requirements

New instructors will need to submit the following:

  • New Teacher Form (online)
  • W9 form
  • A ~1 paragraph bio
  • A headshot photo
  • Any social / contact info you'd like to share with event attendees

All Instructors

Will need to complete the following:

  • Submit a title and abstract for the class
    unless utilizing core curriculum
  • Read and understand our Instructor Expectations
  • Read and understand our Code of Conduct

Good News!

All of these requirements are outlined in our Event Planner Trello Board,
which you will receive access to.

trello event planner screenshot

Trello Event Planning

Every event has a card, prepopulated with checklists for all aspects of event
planning, broken up on a timeline leading up to the event date.

You only need to worry about the "Teacher Setup" list and
respond to any questions from the event organizer.

trello event planner screenshot

Instructor Expectations

  • Empower students with new skills. They should have a firm grasp of the content when they leave.
  • Make yourself an available resource to students before, during, and after the class.
  • Keep an eye on the Meetup event and be prepared to answer questions that come up in the comments.
  • Arrive to class 30-45 minutes early - get setup, greet your students!
  • During introductions, have students introduce themselves, and introduce TAs - making students aware that they are there to help.
  • Stick around after class to answer questions, or if you can't stay, communicate that to students ahead of time.

Code of Conduct

Girl Develop It is dedicated to providing a harassment-free community and learning experience for everyone. We welcome and celebrate all adult/18+ participants, regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, or identity. We expect all attendees to show respect and courtesy to other attendees throughout Girl Develop It classes and events. Male-identified individuals are welcome at our events, and it is expected that all participants be treated with equal respect....

... girldevelopit.com/codeofconduct

Step 5

Slide prep!

Core Slides

We like to use Reveal.js to present slides

                <div class="reveal">

                  <!-- Any section element inside of this container is a slide -->
                  <div class="slides">

                        <p>(Psssst. We have snacks in the back)</p>

                  </div> <!-- end slides -->
                </div> <!-- end reveal -->

Dividing Slides

Just pay attention to the sections and you'll be fine.

                <p>(Psssst. We have snacks in the back)</p>

                <h3>I'm the second slide!</h3>
                <p>Really important information on this slide.</p>

                <h3>Let's learn HTMl & CSS!</h3>
                <p>Yes, Let's!</p>
slide setup

Organizing Slides

You can create columns/sections of content by nesting sections.

                  <h3>I'm the second slide!</h3>
                  <p>Really important information on this slide.</p>

                  <h3>Let's learn HTMl & CSS!</h3>
                  <p>Yes, Let's!</p>
slide section setup

Setting Up Slides

  • If you are starting from scratch, we can provide you with a GDI themed reveal.js template.
  • If you are working from core curriculum, we will provide you with a Github branch appropriate for forking.

Submitting Your Slides

  • At least 1 week before class, provide a link in the event Trello card to one of the following :
    • GitHub repo
    • Dropbox zipped folder
    • Self-hosted website
  • If you're a new instructor, we will schedule a quick mock-teaching session (likely via Google Hangouts) upon receipt.

Teaching Recap

Let's do this!

  1. Let us know you're interested
  2. Complete the pre-reqs.
  3. Get scheduled.
  4. Get set up.
  5. Prep the slides.
  6. Teach the class!

Final Notes & Tips

Prep Tips

  • Give yourself a deadline.
    Finish slides well in advance.
  • Prepare resource links.
    Or a handout or two.
  • Pack up your supplies.
    Video adapters, presenter remote, rabbit's foot.
    Whatever you need, and let us know if you don't have something.
  • Arrive early.
    Put your best foot forward.
  • Don't rely on Wifi working.
    Bring slides/exercises on a backup thumb drive.
    Know the content like the back of your hand.
    Keep an eye on flow and timing.

Teaching Tips

  • Teach for the middle.
  • Emphasize hands-on learning.
  • Welcome questions and participation.
  • Be humble and eliminate fear.
    You don't know everything, and that's ok.
    You're level of expertise should feel obtainable with a bit of hard work.
  • Avoid making assumptions and feigning surprise.
    Coding is HARD, but it is learnable.
    Use careful language. Follow Hacker School's Social Rules
  • It's ok not to have an answer.
    Talk through your process, Google stuff.
  • Leave time for questions.

What To Expect During Class

  • Frequent and repetitive questions.
  • Varying levels of understanding, education, and learning styles.
  • Space limitations, noise, weather issues.
  • Tech limitations - Wifi, projector, laptop.
  • Unique issues with student technology - laptops, OSs, & software.
  • Expectation management.

Setting the Tone

  • What is an inclusive, accessible environment to you?
  • What makes you feel welcome, not welcome?
  • How can you make the experience fun and memorable?

Upcoming Events

Sign up to TA!! bit.ly/gdiaa-ta

  • Tues 2/17: Intro to UX at Pillar
  • March: Intro to Angular.js
  • March: Intro to Ruby
  • April: Intro to Java
  • April: Intro to JavaScript
  • June - August: Possibly Your Workshop??? :-)
    We have open spots after Q2. Who's ready to give it a try?

That's it!


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Julie Cameron   |   @jewlofthelotus   |   @gdiannarbor   |   #gdia2