Updated: May 21
Since we opened 12.5 months ago, we have hired 18 staff in total, counting the 3 who accepted the offer but never showed up or started working at the studio due to personal conflicts or problems. We have interviewed and exchanged e-mails with over two dozen other candidates for the role of coding instructors and coding coordinators. Coding for kids sounds fun and rewarding, but committing for more than a few months requires more than just interest. Longevity requires mainly two things, assuming prospects are qualified for the role.
First, our teachers have another source of income and benefits, We are an after-school program teaching kids to code, and every child between the ages of 7 and 18 is in school during the day, whether homeschooled or at an institution. Outside of events and coding camps, we only open 20 hours a week and by appointment so our staff only works part-time. The studio coordinator works the most since he/she is there when MCP is open. Our teachers have other part-time or full-time jobs, or they are students.
Secondly, once the logistics work out and make sense for the candidate, what keeps them at My Coding Place, keeping them interested and performing well, is PASSION. I have always told people that most of our staff are not here for the paycheck and I still believe that to be true, which is what makes MCP a great place to work! Our instructors think coding is cool and want kids to be successful. I am regularly blown away by some of the things I hear being taught during lessons, such as sorting and binary search to 9 year olds! I love peeking in during camps and classes and seeing the teachers smiling and enjoying themselves, because kids are funny or they asked a funny question. Working with kids can be delightful but also requires patience, and our instructors work on that too. We talk about ideas for keeping kids engaged and how to be effective in communicating coding principles. One of our teachers just planned a theme-based Halloween activity that motivated the Robotics class with candy, and he dressed up for the class as well. Another teacher regularly tells me he isn't here for the paycheck, which I appreciate but, at the same time, he offers me a valuable service, one that keeps students coming back. We don't actually accept volunteers because we want to provide consistent and quality customer service to our families.
When I review the list of 18 current and former staff members, I am seriously impressed at their various skill sets and talents, ranging from technology teachers in the schools to software developers and consultants. Our current staff is dedicated and passionate, and I am grateful for their effort and dedication to the mission of reaching kids with the joys of coding. I wish I had more time to get them together for team events where they could talk about the latest movies or their hobbies, or coding exercises like FizzBuzz, which is used in software developer job interviews. I seriously heard that discussion at our last team meeting! Anyway, thank you to anyone who has worked at My Coding Place and formerly The Coder School. Thank you for joining me in this journey, and thank you for loving and believing in the power of coding and the need to pass it on!