RailsBridge Teacher Training

What is this?

You're probably at a teacher training for RailsBridge.

This slide deck is a tool to facilitate conversations about teaching best practices and challenges, specifically for RailsBridge workshops.

It helps to have a whiteboard or those giant sticky notes for the discussions if possible.

Discussion is key!

Don't let the presenter(s) do all the talking!

Why RailsBridge?

We're making tech more diverse and more welcoming!



Who are you?

What's a RailsBridge?

Raise your hand if you've been to a workshop before!

RailsBridge Fun Facts

How does a workshop work?

There are a few different RailsBridge curricula:

First, we get all the necessary technologies onto the students' computers (the Installfest).

The next day we break into small groups and work through the curriculum.

Typical RailsBridge Schedule

Is RailsBridge Open Source?



All the materials you're using were created by volunteers, and are on GitHub for forking and editing and using!

If you see something that could be better, make a pull request. Pull requests are the lifeblood of RailsBridge.

If you don't know how to make one, we'll help!

How to make your class awesome

We've made three quasi-arbitrary categories of ways to make your class awesome:

We want our students to feel:

Discussion: Social Comfort


When was the last time you felt this way?

How can we help make this easier?

How can you help people feel socially comfortable?

Social Comfort (Ideas)



Social Comfort (More Ideas)

Try to suppress your (understandable) culturally-influenced sexism

Discussion: Technical Capability

How can you help people feel technically capable?

What kinds of insecurities might your student have?

How can you bolster their confidence?

Technical Capability (Ideas)

Explain that:

Dealing with technical concepts:

Technical Capability (More Ideas)

Encourage collaboration and interaction

Be Super Positive, Always

Technical Capability (Even More Ideas)

Walk the Middle Path

Discussion (Do you know what's up?)

How can you help people feel like you know what's going on?

What are things you can do to help the students trust you?

What are some things to avoid?

Know What's Up (Ideas)

Know what's going on

Establish a few ground rules

Know What's Up (More Ideas)

Don't be afraid to:

Know What's Up (Even More Ideas)

Pace yourself!

Discussion: Challenges

Talk about what problems you might anticipate, and what to do about them.

Some issues:

What's a TA?

Discussion: TAs

TAs: How can you best utilize the AWESOME POWER that is a TA?

TAs (Some Ideas)

Discussion: Comprehension

How can you tell if they understand the words you're saying?

What are good questions to ask to check comprehension?

What did your favorite teachers do to gauge understanding?

Student Comprehension (Some Ideas)

Calling on people


Keep in mind:

Very Important, Very Practical Things

Where to find the curriculum: http://docs.railsbridge.org

You need to read the curriculum through, beginning to end, before teaching it.

First workshop? Be a TA!

Where to submit pull requests: https://github.com/railsbridge/docs

How to submit pull requests: http://railsbridge.github.io/bridge_troll/

We need your help! Thank you!!!


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