Instructor Training: Instructor Notes

I. Trainer Duties

As of May 2017, the Trainers group adopted a Trainer Agreement outlining Trainer duties. Only active Trainers are voting members of the Trainer community. An inactive Trainer may re-activate their Trainer status at any time by resuming Trainer activities.

II. Becoming a Trainer

The Trainers group periodically accepts new members via application. New Trainers undergo an eight-week training program outlined in the trainer process document and agree to the Trainer Agreement.

III. Trainer Meetings

The Trainers group meets regularly. We have two types of meetings - business meetings, focused on discussing curricular and policy changes, and discussion meetings, where we share experiences and get advice about running instructor training events. Upcoming meetings are listed on our Etherpad and on the Community Calendar. If you are not a Trainer, but are interested in joining a meeting, please contact Erin Becker ( Minutes for these meetings are available.

IV. Signing up to Teach an Instructor Training Event

  1. The Program Manager will send an email to the Trainers list asking all Trainers to fill in their calendar for the upcoming time period. Please sign up for as many days as you are available and hold those dates in your calendar until the schedule is confirmed.
  2. The Program Manager will confirm events with individual Trainers, at which point you are free to release all other dates on your calendar.
  3. Member sites will sign up for available dates. The Program Manager will let you know which sites you will be teaching as they sign up.
  4. If no member site signs up one month before the event, the event will become an open instructor training or be cancelled, depending on need.
For the months of… Trainers will be asked for their availability on… Trainers will be asked to fill out their availability by…. A confirmed calendar will be released by….
Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr Oct 6 Oct 20 Nov 1
May/June/July/Aug Feb 15 March 1 April 1
Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec June 15 July 1 Aug 1

V. Running an Instructor Training Event (General)

Four weeks before the event

Two weeks before the event

One week before the event (if teaching remotely)

During the event

Immediately after the event

Long-term after the event

VI. Differences Among Training Types

In-person trainings

Online trainings (a few small groups)

Online trainings (completely distributed)

VII. Zoom Manual (Online Trainings)

Online Carpentry Instructor Training events are held on Zoom. You can set up a personal Zoom account for yourself for free. This personal account will be able to attend the training event (or any other online Carpentry event), but will not be able to act as host.

About a week before your event, you will be given login credentials for a Carpentry account. This account will be the host for the event and will have extra privileges including the ability to mute participants and assign participants into breakout rooms. Decide ahead of time with your co-Trainer(s) who will log-in with these credentials. The host can transfer host privileges to other participants, so you will be able to trade host status back and forth with your co-Trainers during the event.

All Carpentry online events are set-up such that participants can enter the room without the host being present. If you ever get an error message saying you can’t join the room because you’re not the host, please contact Carpentry staff immediately.

Host abilities:

General tips for online training:

IIX. Running a Teaching Demonstration

If you would like to watch an example, here is a recording of a teaching demo.

Before the demo

Shortly Before the Demo

After the Demo

Not Good Starting Points for Demos

Any episode other than those listed below should make an okay starting point for a teaching demonstration.

IX. Email Templates

Reminder teaching demo

Subject: Software/Data Carpentry teaching demonstration


According to you have signed up to give an online teaching demo on [date] at [time] (See this link for your local time: [ link]). I will be the Instructor Trainer running the session.

I wanted to make it very clear that I may give you any segment of the lesson you prepared to teach, so you must be ready to teach any part of your chosen lesson. Some people prepare to teach 5 minutes from a particular section and nothing else, and these often have to reschedule as they seldom are assigned the section they have prepared for. A lesson corresponds to a single line in the lesson tables ( and and a single repository on GitHub. Some lessons have supplementary modules, but you do not need to be prepared to teach the supplementary modules for your teaching demonstration.

For example, if you have chosen The Unix Shell, I may assign you any episode listed at

Please visit the Etherpad a little while before the demo starts, I will post a link there to another Etherpad we will be using for this demo.

See you at the demo session, [ name ]

Trainee didn’t pass teaching demo

Hi [ name ],

Thank you for doing a teaching demonstration. While you demonstrated good command of the subject material, I’ve determined not to pass you based on [ reason ] . [ Explanation of this reason. ] We are excited about having you as a Carpentry instructor and I would be happy to see you do another teaching demonstration [ making these changes ] to certify as an instructor.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes, [ name ]

Trainee did pass teaching demo

Hi [ name ],

I’m happy to tell you that you have passed your teaching demonstration! You demonstrated good command of the subject material and a solid understanding of Carpentry teaching methods. We are excited about having you as a Carpentry instructor. I’ve forward this information to our staff. If this was the last stage in your instructor training checkout, you should get your official Carpentry Instructor certificate in about a week, along with instructions for signing up to teach workshops. If you still have steps remaining in your checkout, please be sure to complete them before your deadline. If you have any questions, please email

Welcome to the Carpentry Instructor community!

Best wishes, [ name ]

Email after training event

Hi everyone,

Thank you for participating in our Carpentry Instructor training workshop. We really enjoyed having you involved and getting to know you a bit. You are now well on your way towards becoming a certified Carpentry instructor!

If you did not get a chance to complete the post-workshop survey, please take a moment to do so here. We actively use these data to improve our workshops for future learners.

In order to finish your certification, please finish the tasks listed on the checkout checklist by the 90-day deadline. If you have any questions about the checkout process, please contact

Looking forward to having you as a Carpentry Instructor!

Best, [ name ]

Bilingual Demo Session Reminder Email


Thanks for signing up to complete your “Teaching Demo” as part of the instructor certification process. We will meet tomorrow at Insert Time in a Zoom meeting room. Please read this short bi-lingual description of How Teaching Demo session works. Disclaimer: I understand Spanish better than I speak it. So, I will talk in Spanish as much as I can, but I will most likely give feedback about your teaching in English.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


Gracias por inscribirte para completar tu “Demostración de enseñanza” como parte del proceso de certificación para instructores. Nos reuniremos mañana Insert Time aquí. Por favor, lee ésta breve descripción bilingüe de cómo funciona la sesión de demostración de enseñanza aquí. Aviso: Entiendo el español mejor de lo que hablo. Por lo tanto, voy a hablar en español un poco, pero es muy probable que les dé comentarios sobre su enseñanza en Inglés.

Por favor, hágamelo saber si tiene alguna pregunta o inquietud.


[ name ]