That One Time I Subbed at SMU’s Coding Bootcamp

Sub at Coding Bootcamp

I was asked to step in as an instructor for SMU Coding Bootcamp with Trilogy. Our regular instructor was out of town and the instructor for the other class was burnt out from teaching our class plus his class. They gave me a two week notice to do it so it wasn’t like I found out at the last minute so I did have time to prepare for it. It was very nerve racking leading up to it, I was very nervous – I look at a lot of material and looked up many things and tried to find the answers to questions I thought the students would ask about.

We were going to be talking about scope and reviewing some JQuery. I wasn’t hung up about the JQuery because I knew enough of it to be okay, I was more concerned about scope since it’s more conceptual. I went over the exercises and researched a lot. Since it was week 4 into the program, I knew many wanted to know how they would the concepts relate to the real world especially when it came to nested functions. After much research on figuring out when to use nested functions in the real world, I decided to slack the other instructor and ask him if he knew of any real world uses for nested functions. He immediately responded back with ‘JQuery’ and I immediately thought ‘Duh, that makes sense since we are nested a response after a user triggers some activity’. What’s really funny is after all that, no one even asked about it but I did mention it to them.

The class went pretty well – We got through it and I was able to get it done but I don’t feel very confident my experience trying to communicate scope to the students. I realized, I should probably stick to being a TA for now just because I didn’t know if that role was one that was for me but it was definitely a good experience/exposure to have. I did find out that when the regular  instructor is out for June that they will have a substitute instructor for the class. This makes me feel a lot better because I get intimidated with teaching the coding bootcamp since I don’t have industry experience as a developer. I work with kids and have side projects where I build websites and applications but I am not a developer at a company. It’s always intimidating and nerve racking since you’re in front of adults who want to ultimately become a developer at the end of the course and I feel like they look at me like ‘You’re just a grade school teacher, why are you here, you can’t really help us’. I definitely went into this with that feeling and went out feeling somewhat the same even though they did say I did a good job but I didn’t believe them lol. I did mention to the regular instructor the same thing how I thought it went decently but not as good as he would have done but he did say he’s sure I did fine.

We do record the classes for students to be able to watch over but I have no intention of reviewing my take because I know its going to be total cringe-worthy.

When it’s all said and done my advice is to just take risks – If someone asks you to do something that’s maybe out of your ordinary comfort zone then give it a try.