Teaching the Next Web Makers

Last week, I got my very first classroom.

In January, I will begin teaching a course on web design and development as an adjunct lecturer for the University of Florida’s Web Design and Online Communications program.

Yes, I am going to be teaching for the program I am just about to graduate from. As a matter of fact, I’m going to be teaching a class I just took this past spring.

Am I a little worried about taking on the enormous responsibility of teaching these students a class I don’t actually feel qualified to teach?

Yes, definitely, very much so.

But I’m excited, too.

I’ve spent the last couple of months writing the syllabus, mapping out the lessons, and developing assignments. It turns out I really enjoy this stuff; I am having fun developing this course.

The class I’ll be teaching is Advanced Web Topics II, which is, more or less, an advanced design and development course. It’s meant to bridge the gap between fundamental development skills and the actual tools and techniques being used in the field today. Because the in-use tools are changing constantly, the course has to be updated regularly.

This semester, I’m focusing on responsive design and development. I am a big believer in the necessity of device-agnostic design; I think all web makers should know how to make sites that can be viewed on any device, whether it’s in use today or coming out tomorrow.

I’m also going to tie in some more general development things, like how to take advantage of DevTools, how to optimize sites for speed, and how to write readable, maintainable code.

Although I haven’t held a fancy full-time job as a web maker yet, these are things I know. These are things I believe in, and believe in the importance of. And I hope that my enthusiasm for the field, my informal practice on smaller projects here and there, and my overwhelming sense of responsibility for my students’ success will be enough to make the course a valuable learning experience.

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