By David Rogers, Front End Instructor
One of the realities of learning from someone with significantly more experience than you in a subject is that it can become difficult to overcome a misunderstanding or lack of understanding simply through a continuous series of slightly different explanations and analogies.
That is to say, I can only explain this stuff so many different ways before I run out of material.
One thing that I reiterate to my classes constantly is that people learn differently from their peers and near-peers than they do from a teacher or mentor. Sometimes, just having to slow down and explain something that you just grasped yourself changes the way that you understand and percieve that thing. To foster that, we actively encourage pairing on assignments, small group and team assignments, and even student teaching during lab time.
This week, after a night of humiliating defeat at the hands of an assignment, my class rallied together as a team, huddled around the a cluster of tables in the common area, and made some learning happen. By the end of the day, they were piled in front of the projector together.
This might go without saying, but there’s a reason that our classes are live and in-person for 12 weeks. Something magical happens inside a cohort. It’s hard to articulate, but sometimes you can snap a photo.