Are you looking for a way to get more involved in The Carpentries instructor community? Would you like to meet more members of the community, help new instructors to prepare for organising and teaching a workshop, and benefit from the experience that other instructors have gained from teaching? We are looking for volunteers to host instructor discussion sessions.
These sessions are regular, one-hour online meetings that bring together trainee and experienced instructors to reflect on teaching experience and prepare for future workshops. The job of the host is to participate in and facilitate these discussions, and to make sure that all participants have an equal opportunity to participate in the conversation.
I’ve been hosting discussion sessions for a year or so now and continue to find them very rewarding. They’re a valuable way of getting tips and advice on teaching and of learning from experiences other than my own. They are always enjoyable to be part of, and a great opportunity to get to know other instructors and the tips and resources that they use during their workshops. Each session is one hour long, with a short questionnaire for the host to fill out after the call has finished. You can sign up to host whenever is convenient for you.
To host a session, you don’t need to be a Trainer or a member of the Mentoring Subcommittee, or have an encyclopaedic knowledge of The Carpentries - you only need enough experience of teaching/organising workshops to feel confident when answering questions. For more information about the sessions/hosting, see the relevant section of the Carpentries Handbook: https://docs.carpentries.org/topic_folders/mentoring/discussion_session.html
If you think you’d be interested in getting involved in these sessions as a host, please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or sign up to a scheduled session as a co-host on the etherpad: http://pad.software-carpentry.org/instructor-discussion.
Before hosting my first session, I joined a session as a co-host, after which the host agreed to support me as co-host the next time. This helped me prepare for hosting and I recommend it as an approach if you want to gain familiarity and confidence before jumping in!
Toby Hodges Co-chair, Mentoring Subcommittee