Amal Ali, an instructor at Higher Ground Academy in St. Paul, currently teaches our Intro to Web Development course to high school students. When asked what her favorite thing about teaching her students is, she states “I like to remind students that there are non-traditional routes to success and seeing them not just grasping the concept of IT, but actually thriving in it has been amazing.” 

It’s been about five months since Amal began teaching this course. As I observed her class, I noticed that the students were eager to learn and participated in the teacher's very interactive style of teaching. Amal likes to engage her students as much as possible and she also brings all sorts of coding jokes which make you easily burst into laughter.

When speaking to Amal about why she first got into this role, she states that she attended high school at the same school she is currently teaching at. She also mentions that this was a class that wasn't available to her when she was a student. Furthermore, Amal says "I didn't know coding was an option for me until I attended college so seeing it being offered to students here has been very motivating for me. Being able to teach something I love to students at my old high school has been an amazing experience for me to give back." During our conversation we both had a realization, that had we been granted an opportunity to learn about Web Development as high school students, we would've acquired more tech skills prior to college instead of waiting until our college years to be granted the same opportunity. IT skills have become essential in so many roles, therefore teaching these skills to students prior to college will provide them the head start they need.

When asked to name a few things that she likes about the course, Amal states, "Being a coding instructor, because it incorporates two things I love to do, coding and teaching. I get instant gratification seeing students understanding what they're being taught. This course allows me to refine my own skills as a coder, to be able to teach it you really have to understand the concepts of coding yourself." Amal says her overall experience of the course has been super rewarding. Additionally, she states "to see students that look like me excited and open to learning coding has been incredible. I enjoy building relationships with the students, they know that they can count on me to be there for them. One of my favorite parts of being an instructor is seeing how excited students are to continue their computer science education after graduating. I'm honored to be a part of their journey into the IT world."