Checkout Process

Overview

Teaching: 5 min
Exercises: 10 min
Questions
  • What do I need to do to finish certifying as a Carpentries instructor?

Objectives
  • Describe the final steps required to qualify as an instructor.

  • Schedule your instructor discussion session.

During this period after lunch, we’ll be talking about some of the nuts and bolts of getting involved in the Carpentries. First, we’ll discuss what actions you’ll need to take after this training to become a fully certified instructor. After that, we’ll address any questions about the Carpentries organizations, running workshops, and getting involved in the community in other ways.

Application form

Make sure that you have filled out the Carpentries instructor application form. We can not track your progress and make you an official instructor without it. If you have already filled out this form, you do not need to submit another application.

Instructor Checkout

As you read in your homework last night, there are three final steps to complete before qualifying as an instructor. The instructor checkout webpage explains the procedure in detail. Briefly, the three steps are:

  1. Make a contribution to a lesson’s content, exercises, or instructor notes by doing one of the following:
    1. Submit a change (i.e. pull request) to fix an existing issue.
    2. Proof-read a lesson and add a new issue describing something to be improved.
    3. Provide substantive feedback on an existing issue or pull request.
  2. Take part in a discussion session with experienced instructors.
  3. Prepare to teach a full Carpentries lesson (i.e. the content of one lesson repository). Then perform a 5-minute live coding demo for that lesson starting at a point chosen by the session lead.

Checking Out Review with Questions and Answers

In small groups, read and discuss one of the three checkout procedures listed above and described in detail at This page. Make notes in the etherpad and when you’re done, report back to the full group about the requirements for that stage of the process. What questions do you still have about the checkout process?

This exercise should take about 5 minutes.

Schedule a Discussion or Demo

Visit the discussion Etherpad to sign up for a session. If the session you would like to attend is full, contact the discussion host and co-host to ask if you can attend.

If you’d prefer to do your teaching demonstration before your discussion, visit the demo Etherpad and sign up there.

This exercise should take 5 minutes.

Lesson Contribution

The lesson materials are hosted on GitHub:

and are developed collaboratively. Each lesson is in a separate repository, and consists of narrative lesson material and an associated directory containing the data or scripts needed in the lesson. This source material is also then served as a website, using GitHub’s “gh-pages” feature.

Lesson contribution is managed within the repository using “issues” and “pull requests”. New problems or suggestions can be introduced as issues, discussed by the community, and addressed via a pull request, which serves as a “request” to make changes, and can also be discussed before changes are merged.

What’s in a Badge?

Once you have completed all checkout steps, you will receive an email with your Instructor badge! What does this mean?

Check Out the Discussion (Optional)

As an instructor, your voice is important! We want you to be actively involved in discussions about the lesson materials (and other aspects of the Carpentries community). Go to the GitHub page for the lesson you worked with over the past two days and click on the “Issues” tab. Read through some of the discussions and, if you have anything to add, please add it to the conversation! If you wish to make a pull request, be sure to examine the contribution guidelines for the repository you are working in. If you do make a significant contribution to the discussion, send a link to the issue to checkout@carpentries.org. Congratulations! You’ve just completed one of the three remaining steps in becoming a Carpentries instructor.

Leave about 5-10 minutes for this exercise.

Ongoing support

Discussion sessions aren’t only for instructors-in-training working towards their certification. Instructors are highly encouraged to participate in discussions before and after each of their workshops, so that they can continue to learn from each other and advance their teaching skills. For even more support, consider participating in our Carpentries Mentoring program!

Key Points

  • To certify, you must contribute to a lesson, take part in a discussion, and do a teaching demo within 90 days of your training event.