How to teach a class at WEquil School
Updated: Dec 30, 2021
At WEquil School we learn by doing, and teaching. Teaching is one of the best ways to learn since it requires you to reinforce your knowledge and to communicate complex ideas simply for your students to learn. Creating a classroom, teaching a course, and creating a certification is a required step on the path to earning a Diploma from WEquil.School. We have multiple classes taught at WEquil School ... and we show you how in this article.
Teaching a class is a big deal ... so before embarking on this journey you may want to write a project about it and share with the school. This way other members of the community know about the class you are thinking about teaching and can help you socialize your ideas. By doing this you can also gather other ideas of what you might teach for your class and see who is interested and what they would find most useful.
This document has three parts...each corresponding to a promotion track on the way to becoming an instructor.
Part 1 - Launching a Classroom (Tutor)
Part 2 - Teaching a Course (Teacher)
Part 3 - Creating a Certification (Instructor)
Part 1 - Launching a Classroom (Tutor)
All members of WEquil are free to create a classroom. You can do so in three easy steps. Once you launch your classroom you earn the title of "Tutor" so long as you hold office hours in your classroom during the week. We explain the details of this in the steps below.
Step 1 - Classroom Proposal
To propose a class ... click this link which will direct you to a "Classroom Proposal" Google Form. Included in this form is some basic information that we require to review the proposal such as the title, description, a summary of your first three lessons and qualifications. The most important"Qualifications" included published projects at WEquil.School on the subject proposed. Once you submit the Google Form our leadership team will review your proposal and either accept or suggest improvements.
Step 2 - Lesson Proposal
To create a lesson ... click this link which will direct you to a "Lesson Proposal" Google Form. All of WEquil.School's classes are able to function as "Self-Directed" but teachers have the option to provide free or paid lessons in addition to the Self-Directed Classroom. This allows students with a wide range of backgrounds to attend the class and work through materials. To achieve this, every lesson must include either a written or video lesson for students to work through. We recommend creating both to help your lesson be more accessible to a wider audience.
Here are some examples of lessons at WEquil.School.
Step 3 - Build Classroom
Once accepted, you will be given permission to create your classroom on WEquil.App. This allows you to upload proposed materials and provide comments on student projects. The classroom at this point is still self-directed so you want to include enough material for a meaningful classroom.
As the creator of a classroom you are encouraged to join WEquil.School's class "Office Hours" at 9am EST Monday through Thursday. If this time is not convenient you are welcome to set another time inside the classroom. During this time...WEquil.School hosts a Zoom call with breakout rooms for each classroom. New and experienced students may come into your classroom so you want to be prepared to help them find your classroom on the app and help answer questions. This is also a time for you to practice teaching.
Part 2 - Teaching a Course (Teacher)
Once you have created your classroom you may decide that you want to take a more active role in teaching your students. This is a great way to help improve the quality of your classroom and improve your materials. To do this, we recommending creating a "Course" which consists of at least three lessons. A "Course" is meant to give your students a particular skill that one day could become "Certified" by WEquil.School.
To propose a Course ... click this link which will direct you to a "Course Proposal" Google Form. Basically, all this requires is listing the lessons to group into a single Course and providing details on the Skills that the Course is designed to teach. Once accepted you can share your new "Course" with the school by publishing. The Course "Skills" should include all of the abilities students will need to demonstrate in order to earn a certification.
The next thing you have to decide is whether you want your class to be self directed. What self-directed means is that you provide videos or articles that your students go through to teach themselves and you are there to answer any questions that they have. This is most often the best approach since it reduces work for you, and allows students to join your class and not worry if they missed any past lessons since they can just start from the beginning of your curriculum.
Live classes are another approach. We recommend providing at least one live class a week even if only for 30 minutes. This helps grow awareness, student involvement and helps you learn more about how best to improve your virtual classroom. Even with.live classes you still want your classroom and lessons to function as self-directed in case students miss your class or you decide to try something new.
The last step before you get started teaching it to set up a time for your class. The way you can do this is by socializing the times you are available on Slack and notifying everyone that you are going to provide a class. Then ask those who are interested to let you know what times are convenient for them. After that you can pick a time that seems to work for everyone and make sure to notify either Sumay or Joe which time you picked so they can send out the zoom meeting link before each class.
Once you have all of these things set up, you can start teaching your class! Teaching a class at WEquil School is a great way to build many skills, while also reinforcing your own knowledge of the subject you are teaching. You don’t need to be an expert in whatever you plan on teaching. Your class can even be mostly for people to work on projects and collaborate with your and other students! Be creative with how you want to approach creating your class, and know that you are learning and growing in the process.
At WEquil School we want to give students the freedom to fail and try new things. Your first class doesn’t have to be perfect. You can have a class go badly, but you will have learned something from that experience, and that is extremely valuable. If you have any questions you can reach out to us via Slack.
Part 3 - Create a Certification (Instructor)
Teachers that successfully teach a Course are invited to create a Certification. To propose a Certification ... click this link which will direct you to a "Certification Proposal" Google Form. The Certification form is similar to that of a Course. A key difference is the listing of published projects that relate to the Course as well as students the teacher believes are ready for the certification. Once accepted you will be awarded the title of Instructor.
Once your certification is accepted you can advertise it in your classroom. Students who you believe have earned the certification are welcome to publish a "Certification Award" project by clicking this link. One entry in this form is a letter of recommendation by the Instructor fo the Course. You should only write a letter of recommendation to a student who demonstrates mastery over the Course materials. This is how the Certification retains value. Links provided by the student will be reviewed to determine if the student has indeed demonstrated mastery over the course materials.
Should an Instructor ever decide that they wish to take a break. WEquil.School will hold off on awarding the Certification until another Instructor can be found. Students in a classroom are welcome to work their way up to Instructors as well using the same forms provided in this article.
Creating a process for kids teaching kids is challenging. At the same time it is also rewarding. Teaching is a powerful way to learn and children who make an effort can learn a lot even if they never make it all the way to Instructor. Just remember that its the Journey and what we learn along the way...not the destination that matters.
Please continue to provide feedback to our leadership team so we can improve your experience at WEquil.School.
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