A few weeks ago I left my home on a cool, crisp, morning to embark on a brand new adventure. After attending quite a few Girl Develop It classes as a student, I decided it was time to give back to the organization and volunteer as a teaching assistant. This had been one of the items I had wrote on my “2016 goals” list.
Since I’m still learning HTML/CSS myself (the subject of the class) I wasn’t sure how helpful I’d be as teacher. Based on the conversations I’ve had with other developers however, I’ll never be a 100% expert in the field and the experience would help me move out of my comfort zone.
After a 45 minute train ride, I fumbled around with Google Maps and made my way to First Round Capital in University City. As I hadn’t drank any coffee, my mind was quite foggy, but I was happy to contribute any way I could. Before the class started I spent the time exchanging meek greetings with the other volunteers, keeping the door open for students, and awkwardly wandering around the floor. I thought about making small talk, but I couldn’t think of anything substantial to say.
The class was taught by the quirky, yet knowledgeable Jenn Lukas. She was my instructor when I took the Intro to HTML/CSS class last year. While walking around to look for confused students, I couldn’t help but feel empowered. I’m not used to leading anything in life. When people asked me questions previously I often overthink so much that I had mental shutdowns. This time I buckled down and dished out explanations to the best of my abilities. There were occasions where an issues stumped me and I had to call for reinforcements, but I tried to not let temporary setbacks get me down. “Nobody’s perfect” I thought to myself. Both weekend sessions were rather exhausting, but I stayed alert thanks to nice, smooth, warm cups of Saxby’s Caramel Macchiato.
Though I initially had my doubts, I would love to TA another class. It stretched my limits, and even I learned a few things about Sublime Text. I can’t wait for the next opportunity!