As I type this, my students are hard at work on their final OOP in C++ exam. Without exception (pun intended), I think all of them are going to do well. They’ve learned a lot this semester and pleasantly surprised me with some truly creative code and ideas.
When I was in school, I had but a handful of I.T. professors that I thought were worth very much. This isn’t a poor reflection on the schools I’ve attended, but a reflection on my cockiness as a young student who, since the age of 13, spent weekends studying code rather than going out with friends.
That small handful of professors that did stand out though were amazing. They helped me leap hurdles. I knew to keep in touch with them.
A year or so ago, I was invited to be part of a curriculum advisory committee regarding Information Technology courses at the community college I attended for one year nearly a decade ago. That allowed me to maintain a friendship with one of my professors while networking with several more. In the Fall of last year, they called on me to see if I would be interested in teaching a section of the OOP in C++ course, with a small intro to C# at the end of the semester.
I’d spent years taking classes and always wondered how I would do if I were on the other side of the podium and presenting these topics, which I adore, to a group of eager (okay, maybe some apathetic) students. I told them I would do it.
Now the Spring semester has flown by and my small class sits taking their final exam. I’m amazed at how quickly this has all passed.
I am unable to testify as to whether or not I have been any good at teaching. My students started my class with a basic understanding of programming and they are leaving with a deeper understanding. By this measure, I must have done alright. I’ll leave it to their judgment to determine my qualifications.
What I can say though is that it was fun. It was really fun. Seriously, I just got paid to spend time every week working with some local budding developers and help them figure out Object-Oriented Programming! This has been every bit as fun and gratifying to me as I had hoped. The school has invited me to teach the same course again next Fall and I look forward to meeting my next class of students.