How DIY Selects Its Course Instructors And Mentors

“It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.” – Michael Morpurgo

At DIY, we have several courses and workshops for children between the age of 5 and 15. Our online learning platform is proving to be helpful for a lot of kids in finding something that they truly love and enjoy learning. Whether it’s singing or dancing or reading a story or delivering a speech or playing chess, the list goes on and on. 

Behind the scenes, we are constantly working on introducing new disciplines and features that make online courses for kids a more enjoyable experience. At the core of our endeavor lies the dissemination of our structured curriculum. 

Each session, whether it’s from a long-term course or a short-term workshop, is tailored in such a manner that a child’s progressive learning is ensured. We are able to fulfill this thanks to our dedicated course instructors. Despite so much diversity in our pedagogy, one thing in common: every single course instructor on DIY believes in our vision of empowering kids to learn skills. 

We take a lot of time (read: scrutiny) to decide who gets selected as a course instructor on DIY. Many apply for teaching opportunities but few get in. Mainly because of the criteria we’ve kept in place since our inception. These measures are to check whether a course instructor is in sync with our culture of prioritizing our young students. 

While recruiting, here are some key points that we pay attention to –

Passionate about teaching
We place a lot of importance on the joy of learning, and while going through candidates, we seek out those who genuinely love teaching kids. It’s one thing to have a background in teaching and quite another to be enthusiastic about sharing knowledge with the little ones. The difference is what we gauge during our interactions with interested course instructors. 

Patience with kids
Being in the education field, we fully understand the challenges of dealing with children. They can be unreasonable at times but at the same time, it’s a sign of a good teacher to spark that love for a subject in such a way that the process of teaching and learning becomes naturally smoother. We prefer professionals who can be creative with tough students. 

Indubitable expertise 
Our staff is graced by individuals who are achievers in their respective fields – some being FIDE-rated chess teachers while others have graduated from esteemed institutions like Trinity, and others have represented/coached at national level competitions, etc. — and we try our best to maintain this pedigree of instructors. It’s imperative that our teachers are authoritative in their lessons.  

Communication skills
Even the best sessions are invalid if the teacher isn’t able to transmit the information to the young wards. Conversable English is non-negotiable and engagement is of high priority here. And we particularly look for how good a candidate is at communicating with kids. Being great with fellow grownups and being clumsy with children won’t work in the candidate’s favor. That’s why we run mock classes to gauge such situations better. 

Open to feedback
Even the best teachers can continue to improve. At least that’s the value system we follow at DIY: everybody must learn and get better. And that’s where feedback plays a critical role. Whether feedback is positive or negative, the course instructor must take it in good light and work on areas of improvement. Similarly, they must be able to provide useful and constructive feedback to kids. 

Basic tech skills
Since we are an ed-tech platform, it goes without highlighting that technology plays a heavy role in our everyday conduct. Our course instructors are expected to be fluent with basic technical skills so that there are no teething issues when an online session for kids is in order. 

Past experiences in edutech
If a candidate hoping to become a course instructor on DIY has had past experiences as an instructor in online learning, especially with children, then that’s an advantage! Given the internet-centric ecosystem that we have, having course instructors who have previously worked in the same space could be a healthy prospect. Apart from these, there are many more criteria that our operations team takes into consideration, depending on the requirements of the given course/workshop. However, our collective end goal is to boost our platform to encourage more and more children to learn in a joyful and safe environment. 

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