hack-reactor precourse-work teaching

Since getting the HR precourse work on Monday, I’m happy to say I’ve been able to work through the first section fairly quickly. It involved a basic review of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and I had actually already read all of the provided resources. Because I want to make sure I REALLY know this stuff, I still worked back through it all, recording particularly important/tricky points with Evernote to review yet again before my start date in late June. I believe I now have a strong understanding of all of the concepts I reviewed, but of course I will need to do a lot more practice–especially with CSS positioning!–before I really feel competent.

I have now moved on to the section involving Git and using the command line. Again, most of this is review, but here HR has provided completely different resources than the ones I originally used. I’m especially enjoying the material on Git, as it provides review of pertinent terminal and git commands along with plenty of opportunities to practice them. I also like this resource more than the CodeSchool tutorial on Git, because this tutorial has you work on your own computer’s command line by creating a practice repo with which to work. For some reason this seems to help me retain the information better than when working on CodeSchool’s somewhat contrived exercises. One of my favorite exercises I’ve done so far has been to create command line and git aliases–these will definitely save some time!

Now that I’ve gotten a good start on the precourse work, I think my general plan of attack has shifted somewhat; I want to try to work as quickly through the “easy” stuff as I can so that I have plenty of time to work through the more difficult tasks, such as the section on Recursion. Hopefully this strategy will allow me to better balance my time between work and HR, especially since the end of my school year coincides with the due dates for most of the sections.

Speaking of, yesterday one of my students somehow found out that one of the other math teachers and I will not be coming back next year. I knew this would happen eventually because it is impossible to keep a secret at a small boarding school, so I was prepared to explain to them exactly why I was leaving. Even though they’re mostly juniors and seniors, as the retiring math teacher pointed out, they really can be just little kids at heart. They are currently convinced that he and I are the BEST TEACHERS EVER, and that no one that comes in next year could possibly be as good as us. Having worked with a great many other teachers, I have my doubts about this opinion, but of course the kids can’t see the forest for the trees right now. I suppose it’s good that they found out earlier rather than later, so they’ll have time to get comfortable with the idea before the end of the year.

One valid concern they have is that since two of the three math teachers are leaving, they’re not sure who will be able to write their college math recommendations since only a few of them will have the remaining math teacher for calculus. Perhaps I will be able to write some recs for them next year, even if I’m no longer a teacher? Must ask the college counselor about this…

Written on May 1, 2015