Christine Garrard, August 4, 2016 | 1 min read

Stepping into the Role of a Student

It has been some time since I have been a student. Since my college graduation in Spring 2012, I have been teaching high school science and, despite being around students 10 months out of the year, I have (apparently) forgotten what it is like to be one. In a word, the experience has been very humbling.

I came into the Code Immersion program with some rudimentary knowledge; as a college freshman (8 years ago), I learned how to navigate through terminal, use UNIX, and create an elementary HTML website (sans CSS). Barring dating a system admin for a few years, I never once had any other exposure to computer science until this past winter when I led Hour of Code with my students. I thought to myself, This is great! They love it! I want to learn more to teach them more!

… But is designed for children, and this Code Immersion program is not. This course is challenging, rigorous, and pushes me to become an independent learner. Every step of the way, I have to make sure that I am focused and attentive, otherwise I risk missing a crucial component to our lesson. I schedule time every day to sit down and do my homework, and I realize the delicate balance I need to have in order to be a successful student and attend to my other responsibilities. Talking to my fellow classmates is a necessity, and putting my pride aside to ask questions when I don’t understand has been difficult, but rewarding. This has been a total shift in thinking for me, which I am thankful for. I have a newfound appreciation for my students and the process of learning.

Looking back at the first half of this course, I realize that I have learned so much. I know about HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Ruby, Git Hub, and Rails. I am able to make a website that can keep track of music AND make it look beautiful. I can articulate how the front-end communicates with the back end. I have even learned to love and embrace error messages.

And, perhaps most importantly, I have learned how to be a student again: hardworking, curious, and hungry for more. I can’t wait to see what the second half of this course has in store for me.