Since we focus on Team teaching, almost everyone is a co-instructor. But this page is focused on onboarding new co-instructors in their first lessons, so focuses on explaining the most common starting point.

Why co-teaching?


Demo of team teaching. Two people are speaking, in this case one is typing and giving the small point of view, and one is explaining the big point of view.

The dream of interactive teaching is hard to achieve: most audiences are very quiet and even if someone does speak up, it is a small fraction of the audience. We have found a better way: Build the interaction straight in to the course by co-teaching. Instead of trying to have a conversation with students, we have a conversation among co-instructors.

Co-teaching provides other benefits, such as easier preparation and easier presentation.

How co-teaching works: guide and demo-giver

Main article: Team teaching.

We have developed several ways of team teaching, but for starters we suggest the “guide and demo-giver” approach. The guide manages the overall flow through the lesson. The demo-giver does the typing during the demonstrations. So, for example:

  • The guide introduces a type-along session and walks through the steps while…

  • … the demo-giver does the typing in the screenshare

  • The guide and demo-giver ask each other about what is happening.

During other times, the demo-giver and guide ask each other questions when the other is talking.

Preparing for your first time


An example of a beautiful screenshare. Note the portrait orientation (you have half the screen free for notes and HackMD, learners have half the screen free to do their own work). The terminal is dark-on-light, a minimal prompt, no other fancy shell distractions, there is a shell history visible, and slightly distinct colors between the web browser and the terminal.

  • There is some generic technical setup for your own computer - make a clean environment that matches learners, make a good prompt, and so on. See Instructor technical setup and Instructor technical setup, online.

  • Watch the Demo of CodeRefinery livestream teaching (read the description for an explanation).

  • Talk and plan with your co-instructors: decide which model of co-teaching you will give.

  • Plan the material, try to go through all of the exercises and type-along.

  • Do a run-through of the lesson, practicing what each person says. This can be relatively quick (remember, most of the time in an actual lesson is learners doing exercises alone).

    • Also check the technical setup - make sure that it looks good on screen.

Top issues new co-instructors face

See the instructor-intro for now.