Introducing the Instructor Development Committee

After some discussion, at recent meetings of the Mentoring Committee and on the associated GitHub repository, members of the Committee have chosen to rename the group. We will now be the Instructor Development Committee.

The discussion came about from an acknowledgement that “Mentoring” implied that the Committee focussed solely on mentoring activities such as the Mentoring Groups Program (more on which below). While it’s true that part of what we do is to support the amazing work that Kari Jordan and others do with mentoring groups, that’s only one aspect of the conversations that we have at our monthly meetings and the activity of the Committee members outside of those meetings.

We also coordinate the instructor discussion sessions, which I’ve gushed about before, and would love to work more on new projects to support the development of our instructor community. We proposed the name change to reflect this, and to reduce the potential for confusion around the naming of our repositories and mailing lists (we currently have lists called mentoring, mentees, and mentors).

In practical terms, what this means is that our repository will change its name/URL, so those of you who have a clone of that repo will need to update your remote to reflect that. I’ll send instructions on how to achieve that to the mailing list soon. Speaking of the mailing list, that will also change address but no one need re-subscribe: we can transfer the subscriptions over. Some of us will also be working to update the wording on the Carpentries website and in our various GitHub repositories. If you’d like to help with that effort, please give us a shout on this issue.

Of course, it’s a dangerous form of bureaucracy when a committee begins to take all of its time discussing its own name instead of actually doing things! With that in mind, I’d like us to move quickly through this process and get back to what we’re most interested in: supporting our instructor community. Our meetings take place on the third Monday of every month at 13:00 & 22:00 UTC and are open to everyone.

At the next one, we will devote a large chunk of the time to collect ideas for projects and activities that would support the development of Carpentries community members. If that sounds interesting to you, you are warmly encouraged to join us. You can find connection details on our etherpad. I hope you choose to join the discussion and help us make this community even better.

To finish, a brief word about the Carpentries Mentoring Groups Program, which is about to enter another round. Although I couldn’t commit the time to be a mentor in the previous round, I attended the Virtual Showcase last week, where mentors and mentees described the progress that they’d made with their group and the positive effect that it had had on them. I was struck by the enthusiasm of the participants and the frequent mentions made by mentees of how being part of the program had built their confidence. At the beginning of each round, mentees are encouraged to set SMART targets but it seemed to me that the positive impact that the mentors and other group members had had on one another would reach beyond these specific goals.

Inspired by this, I’ve applied to be a mentor again in the next round and there’s still time for you to apply to be a mentor or a mentee too: applications close on 31 August. To get involved, see the information pages.

Dialogue & Discussion