TA’ing my first Girl Develop It course

Image of Skin on Macbook

I’ve been a member of the Philadelphia chapter of Girl Develop It for over a year and I’ve taken quite a few great classes over that time. Intro to Python, Intro to jQuery, Responsive Web Design 101, JavaScript for Beginners and Intro to Git & Github. With all this learning paired with the Web Design Professional program I’m currently in, I thought it was time for me to test out what I really know about HTML and CSS.

I contacted one of the chapter co-leaders and asked if I could volunteer as a teaching assistant (TA) at the Build Your Own Website: Intro to HTML & CSS course. She was more than happy have me help and welcomed me aboard. The days leading up to the course, I’d reviewed the slide deck and worked through the code examples to build my web page. I didn’t want to be caught off guard with a question about something that was in the slide deck that I was unfamiliar with. This was my opportunity to brush up on floats and positioning!

The course was over the weekend and it covered a lot of the basics of HTML & CSS; from the history of HTML to the tools used to create a website; from tags and attributes to CSS rules and positioning; by the end of the class, attendees were able to code out their own web page.

As a TA, my job was to float around, check on progress and answer questions that anyone had about the content or the assignments. As hands raised or inquisitive looks appeared on faces, I addressed each one as best I could. Listening was one of the skills that got the most work. Understanding the questions that were presented to me and then being able to communicate effectively on how to resolve the issue was very rewarding. Even on those questions I didn’t quite have an answer for (vendor prefixes and text-decoration-color), I researched the answers and was able to show (using Codepen) how and why something worked the way it did.

Grid of student images

GDI students hard at work

I got a chance to speak to most of the attendees throughout the course¬†and share a little bit about how I’ve learned what I’ve learned thus far. The ‘wow’ moments when a student was able to ‘get it’ or when a student saw Codepen for the first time to telling another student where I got a particular sticker from that was on my MacBook, I got to share a little bit of me with each interaction.

I can’t wait for the next time I can TA a course. I really enjoyed it and I hope I was able to help make someone’s learning a little bit easier. It was just as helpful for me as well.