On teaching

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This week, we’ve completed yet another round of our Python Basics Course for Data Scientists. Thanks to all participants for your motivated collaboration and the interesting and useful questions that came up during the course. Also, a huge thanks to Miguel Fernandez (/), who co-moderated the course this time and helped a lot to improve the course in advance.

As with all previous courses, also this round contributes to the further improvement of the course and its material. It’s especially the contributions of the participants that help a lot to recognize mistakes or misleading formulations within the script, so that they can be corrected. Your questions give rise for potential new and more descriptive examples. And, most important, your feedback lets me re-think about the content, as maybe some examples and problems were too demanding, too easy or too abstract. All of this together will be then integrated into the next update, so that every course iteration contains the impressions and feedback of its previous rounds. In this way, the course matures, and, I think, a tutor should always be open to listen to and to consider the participants’ feedback. I strongly believe that teaching is not a unidirectional thing.

On the contrary, I also learn a lot by preparing the material and the course lessons. For instance, I’ve noticed that preparing the material for Python courses further improves my own programming skills. While I start thinking about how to present and to explain certain problems and how to solve them, I also start to re-think and question my so-far approaches, and maybe I find alternative, even better and faster solutions. And while at least trying to be a good teacher, I do my best to prepare and present the solutions as accurately as possible regarding, e.g., putting descriptive comments into the scripts, defining variables adequately, avoiding redundancies in the code, and so forth. Of course, this reflects back to my own programming later on.

So, when I say “Thanks to all participants”, I mean it literally, as you all do not only participate in the course, but also contribute to it and help me to further improve. And it’s a thank you for the short, but joyful time we had together.

Therefore, thanks! :hugs: