A new school year means another year of teaching with ScriptEd. This will be my 5th year! I’ve been reflecting on how much I’ve grown since my first year with ScriptEd:
I had the worst stage-fright and could barely get through a 5-minute lecture without becoming breathless and shaky. Once I actually stopped in the middle of a lecture and ran out of the classroom, leaving the other volunteers to pick up where I left off. While I’m still no TED speaker (though ScriptEd’s co-founder is), I can get through a class without heart palpitations. I don’t have to read directly off the slides and it doesn’t completely throw me off-track when I stumble over something or when a student interrupts with a question. I’ve even given talks at QueensJS and DjangoGirls events.
Teaching has also improved my ability to communicate at work: I use similar strategies to explain technical concepts to producers and product managers so they understand what I’m working on, struggling with, or need clarity on.
I have more empathy, patience, self-confidence, and new friends among my fellow volunteers.
Teaching is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and its also an amazing way to learn.