I have been always beliving that sharing your knowledge and energy with others may bring only positive results. That’s why I decided to take part in Geek Girls Carrots HTML & CSS workshops as a mentor. After 8 weeks of classes, I came up with a list of hints that I will use in the future to be a better mentor and to conduct better workshops. So let's begin!
There will always be volunteers who like to take part in organising something great and significant. However, the thing is that some people have hidden goals which might not be in line with the group's objective. Every day practices will soon verify true intentions. Don't be disappointed when you'll discover this. It’s a part of life.
We should be more patient. Everyone deserves a chance. Pay attention to those who are not that fast as you expected. Having your participants not stressed is a paramount of importance. The scope of material you planned to cover is not crucial. The most important thing is the comfort of your participants even if this means a slower progress.
Don’t be afraid of criticisim from participants. Be open. Listen. Stay humble. It doesn't have to be a bad experience.
Don’t rely exclusively on your assumptions why they take part in such an event. It can alter your attitude as their motivation might be totally different from what you expected.
As it is not a 9-5 job and you’re doing this for free, make fun of it.
No matter the hardships are. Encourage others to show more enthusiasm.
Meet regularly with other menors to exchange your experience and to brainstorm. Workshops are not just about teaching people but also meeting them.
You might have a clearly defined idea or approach how to teach people, but who says it is the best way for them? Learn from other mentors and observe what works for the students. Do not reject anything before you try. The ideas that seem to be the most crazy at the first sight, sometimes work the best.
Be prepared that technology may not work. Always have a plan B to avoid an impression that the class time is wasted.
Ask the participants for feedback when the course is over. And try to keep in touch with them to observe their progress. There's no better reward than enjoying how your students grow and develop the knowledge that you shared with them.
Increase engagement and catch the students' attention. What about gamification? What about quizes? Do something that will add a twist the people like. The engagement both from student’s and mentor’s perspective decreases gradually. Find a way to liven it up.
At the beginning of the course set the rules. Think how students can compensate for their potential absence. However, do not make them feel like at school. They might be afraid to ask questions and it might influence their creativity.
Do your best and care if anyone feels comfortable with asking questions and understands the topic clearly. Encourage people to ask as many questions as possible.
Visit me at
I'm a Visual Designer
& Front-end Dev @ Adobe.
I'm passionate about simple and functional solutions. In my spare time I engage in different communities, eat a lot and I try sewing.
The course was organized by Warsaw unit of GGC by Ilona & Artur.
The idea came up in the middle of April 2015 and was an Artur's initiative. It was developing surprisingly fast with a team of motivated organizers and mentors. There were over 1200 filled up questionnaires, from which we chose 40 people, divided between two groups. Each team had its own mentor's team consisted of 4 members. The materials and program were prepared for people who haven't yet had experience in coding in HTML or CSS. The students (both female and male) were chosen from different disciplines, environments and age range. The course consisted of 8 lessons, 120 minutes each.