How Teaching Molds the Marge Simpson of Coding hackernoon.com5 years ago in #Dev Love53

Originally published by Jonathan Haines on October 24th 2017 No, really. The lovable mom from Springfield, USA has years of wit and expert advice, sometimes unintentionally. There’s an episode in season 12 of The Simpsons where Lisa asks her mother if the family has enough money to afford sending Lisa to college. Marge replies that Homer’s salary is probably not enough, but she could start giving piano lessons. Lisa replies that Marge doesn’t know how to play the piano. Marge responds with one of the shiniest of golden nuggets in her years as a cartoon mom: “I just have to stay one lesson ahead of the kid.” – Marge Simpson (In case you’re interested, this scene happens about 16 minutes into the episode “I’m Spelling As Fast As I Can.”) What Does This Have to Do With Code? In a sense, everything. But it goes deeper than that. This is a lesson in self-confidence, conquering imposter syndrome, and most importantly, the only way to avoid marrying Milhouse. Coding is difficult. Everyone, from novice to expert, experiences a bit of imposter syndrome from time to time because there will never be any way to know everything. An expert in relational databases may know nothing about CSS, while another developer may be an expert in using parallax scrolling but have a hard time with fizz buzz. In an episode of Syntax, Wes Bos mentions his earliest impressions of React, citing published tweets explaining why React is a pretty lousy idea. In case you were wondering, Wes has since made one of the most widely used courses on React, acting as an evangelist for one of the most successful JavaScript libraries in recent years. Even the best have plenty to learn. How does Wes Bos stay on top of his game? That goes back to Marge as well. Her idea of staying one step ahead of the student sounds a bit ridiculous, but it contains a foolproof method of learning. Teaching. But Why Teaching? An Anecdote in the Morning Calm Long before I decided that I wanted to code, I left my life in Brooklyn and fled to South Korea to teach English. I knew very little about the country, but figured teaching may be a great experience and a reason to travel Asia. While it may have initially seemed overwhelming, the familiarity of English offered an incentive to go and teach others something that I was good at. My mother and father met in Brooklyn during high school English class back in the 1970’s. Growing up, my apartment was always filled with books. My father would constantly quote poems from Wordsworth and Coleridge while I was more interested in turning my Odin esper to Raider. But living in that environment would have its impression on me and I would realize this years later as a teacher in Korea explaining how to diagram a sentence. For the first time in my life, I was understanding how much of a grasp of English I had by teaching it to others that didn’t have that same opportunity. This would become more important as I started to take Korean classes on my own and then proceed to ask my students about the intricacies of their own language. While I wasn’t encouraged to speak Korean in these English classes, my curiosity got the best of me and while I taught elementary school kids English,  » Read More

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