Becoming an Instructor

Group activity at instructor training

Becoming a Carpentries Instructor

What is a Carpentries Instructor?

Carpentries Instructors teach and sometimes organize Carpentries workshops to spread data literacy and programmatic skills both locally and globally. Members of the Instructor community work together to actively grow their instructional and technical skills. Becoming an Instructor is a great step to leveling-up your own technical skills and helps you to become a more effective technical communicator.

While we hope that Instructors at Stanford will be interested in teaching workshops hosted by Stanford Libraries or other campus groups, Instructors are also able to volunteer to teach workshops all over the United States (and sometimes in other countries). Instructors always volunteer their time, but travel costs are covered by the institution hosting the event. Once you've become a certified instructor you'll be connected to the Carpentries organization so that you can find out about these volunteer opportunities.

What is Instructor training?

Instructor training is a two-day, interactive course that has the following goals:

  • Introduce you to evidence-based best-practices of teaching
  • Teach you how to create a positive environment for learners at your workshops
  • Provide opportunities for you to practice and build your teaching skills
  • Help you become integrated into the Carpentries community
  • Prepare you to use these teaching skills in teaching Carpentries workshops

Instructor training does not cover the actual content of Carpentries workshops. For this reason, you must already know enough about one or more of the Carpentries workshop topics that you could teach beginners. You do not need to be an expert!

Instructor training also does not cover creating lesson materials or curriculum development.

Why become a Carpentries Instructor?

Becoming a Carpentries Instructor allows you to learn about how to teach and to get practice teaching, as well as providing a way for you to share useful skills with others. 

Carpentries Instructors have shared other motivations as well:

  • To make their own lives better by helping their peers learn how to build and share better software that they, in turn, can use
  • To build a reputation by teaching at institutions where they might eventually like to work
  • To get practice teaching
  • To help get people of diverse backgrounds into the computational sciences pipeline
  • Because teaching forces you to learn new things, or to learn old things in more detail than you already know
  • To make the world a better place
  • To acquire useful skills for careers
  • To join a community of people who care about inclusive teaching of computational skills
  • Because it's fun!

How do I get a spot in Instructor training?

Before applying to be an instructor, we encourage you to attend one of our workshops as a learner or as a helper so that you can better understand what the Carpentries is all about. 

While it is possible to apply directly to The Carpentries to attend an online training session to become an instructor, those at Stanford are encouraged to contact our local group directly about getting access to in-person training. We typically have spots allotted to us as part of the Stanford Libraries' membership with The Carpentries and would love to have you join us at one of these sessions and meet other Stanford community members taking this training as well.

Email if you are interested in participating in instructor training.