I have been teaching programming for twenty five years, but I have never had any formal training as a teacher until I became RStudio certified.
I wanted to become certified to back my work up as a teacher. I wanted to be able to show people that my teaching is of good quality and I believe the RStudio certification did that for me.
Once I became certified, I was able to be in touch with other certified teachers. That means I am now part of a support network and I have access to the most advanced resources and updates. R is not just a language, it is a community for me.
I was lucky to go through this process with a group of R-Ladies from Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
We had weekly meetings. Each week a person was responsible for reading and preparing a class with a chapter from the book R for Data Science. That person explain it for the rest of the group. We also solved the exercises together and discussed them. The rest of the group also read the whole chapter before our meetings. That took us several months. I learned a lot and enjoyed it a lot. As you are going to learn if you do the training: you learn better together. So If you can, do this with people you enjoy spending time together.
Once it was time for the certification teaching exam, we prepared the required materials and then we practiced our mock class by teaching it to other people in the group. We gave each other feedback on our teaching to improve our lesson. This practice helped us, for example, to make sure the lesson lasted 15 minutes, to make sure that the lesson was accessible, that we all used Zoom well to teach, or that we used the pedagogical tools correctly.
Because no lesson survives the first meeting with a student, this practice process helped us make sure Greg wasn´t our first student during the teaching exam. It worked! We all passed!
I have been able to apply the pedagogical tools immediately in my teaching and in my work as a researcher. I use all I learned to teach R as well as other topics such as How to use and interpret Weather RADAR Data.
I also use the pedagogical tools I learned from Greg beyond teaching. I lead a research group on Digital Agricultural Technology and we have been using the Learner Personas concept when we discuss a new product. We use concept maps to organize our approach and to assign responsabilities. Creating a concept map needs agreements so we talk a lot and use all these tools to keep our final users in mind.
If you are not familiar yet with concepts maps or learner personas, Greg can explain that for you in this panel. Happy to explain these in Spanish if needed.
Finally, my newest passion is also based on Rstudio Education work. At the beginning of lockdown due to covid19, I got together with other RStudio and Carpentries certified trainers and instructors and started MetaDocencia. MetaDocencia means MetaTeaching in English. MetaDocencia is a Spanish-speaking teachers community that we started because we understood that in COVID19 reality, Spanish-speaking educators needed tools and knowledge to teach on line. It was urgent and we had all these amazing resources, knowledge and experience! So, we are teaching Spanish-speaking teachers how to teach online based on Greg’s and Carpentries’ materials. We do it for free, because we believe these is a way to transform the world. Metadocencia is what I am most proud of at the moment.