Last night, our small class of future WordPress masters finished their course. It was a fun and challenging journey for them, working with WordPress, from installing to child themes. I've got a few things bouncing around my head about the best things in the course.
- Empowered students. I began the first session by laying out "Rules of the Road" – emphasizing that we're all on the same team, we understand that we work at different paces, and it's all completely okay. I think this setup is especially key in the women-centered environment of GirlDevelopIt (sponsor of the course), but also believe in making everything better for everyone, so I just chock this up to a lesson in empowerment.
- Excitement. The students were excited, our volunteer TAs were amazing; once we had the groundwork in lecture, the students are like kindergartners that are waiting for you to let them go to recess. Especially in self-driven learning environments (i.e. not graded), I find many of the students are just looking for that boost to get them started, thinking, and skilled.
- Camaraderie. First session. After our speech on "The Team," everyone introduces themselves. There are labs throughout the course where, if they choose, they can work together. It was only the last class that I realized I was seeing these pairs and teams form organically – and I do believe that it was a function of the empowered environment.