SHS Teacher to Zuitt IT Instructor: Train to Teach Opportunity for Professional Teachers

In 2020, Zuitt Coding Bootcamp introduced the Training Teachers to Teach in Tech (TTTT) – a job opportunity open for Teaching Professionals who want to try their luck in the Tech Industry. The company’s goal is to introduce educators to an alternative teaching setting which is to become a Zuitt IT Instructor. This initiative included free coding training to encourage education professionals to build a career in coding matched with their expertise in teaching. 

Judy Medalla, a licensed Professional Teacher, is one of the products of this initiative. She is a former Senior High School (SHS) teacher, and now a Zuitt IT Instructor for more than 2 years. In this article, she shares her own coding Bootcamp experience and her new outlook on her teaching career path. With Zuitt’s help, she has now built a diversified set of skills that can drive more career opportunities for her in both the Teaching and Tech Industries.

Let’s take a look at her journey!

(Interviewed by Dana Diaz)

Opportunities for Career Upgrade for Teaching Professionals 

The start of Zuitt’s initiative was perfect timing for Judy’s search for mentorship and career growth as a professional teacher. 

—— How would you describe your teaching career path before Zuitt? Also, after training with Zuitt?

In my previous job, I was a Program Head Coordinator and at the same time, an instructor at the college of IT. I’ve only been in the Education Industry for 2 years. For me, having that title was a little burdensome because I felt that I lacked the technical skills. I was really at a loss when I was in that position. I was pondering a lot if I should stay because I didn’t have confidence in what I was doing.

But after joining Zuitt, I had a clearer goal. I underwent 2 months of training. They were very hands-on in assisting me throughout the process. I found mentors in Zuitt which was what I was really looking for. I really enjoyed the experience. The offer made it more clear to me that this is the kind of career path that I really want to pursue. I am really grateful that I found out about this opportunity from Zuitt. 

—— What kind of opportunities were you looking into as a Professional Teacher before finding out about Zuitt’s Train to Teach offer?

I was looking for other career paths where I can challenge myself and be able to get out of my comfort zone which is teaching.

So that time when I was looking for a career opportunity, I was looking for an IT Instructor position because I have a basic foundation in coding. That was before I found out about Zuitt’s Train to Teach offer.

—— What was appealing about the offer?

Firstly, it was the free 2-month training. And secondly, it’s still in line with my profession. For me, it was like killing two birds with one stone. I get the chance to learn more about coding without additional cost, plus I still get a chance to teach. 

—— Why decide to learn and teach code now?

In my career path, coding is aligned with my experience as an SHS teacher, College instructor, and Academic Program Coordinator. I am also curious about coding. Back in my high school days, I already had a basic understanding of HTML and front-end development. And that is why in college, I took a major in IT for my Bachelor’s degree in Education.

I was really eager to learn and teach coding. 

—— Why an instructor, not a developer?

I was actually thinking about that too! I also want to try and become a developer in the future. 

But again, I am still scared to get out of my comfort zone in teaching. For now, I’ll keep teaching but when the time comes (if I want to go for a developer job), I’ll do it.

—— Any challenges shifting to teaching – mainly coding?

I had a different teaching approach before. It’s more on discussion only and before I was used to doing face-to-face classes, one thing is the environmental set-up. I had to adjust.  

Also, another challenge that I faced was more on how I will teach coding with a different approach, especially in the process of watering down every topic for my students. Back in my previous job, we only did a quick introduction to coding and discussed only the basics. But here in Zuitt, it’s mainly technical. I have to discuss step-by-step and really teach everything until my students gain ground on how to build their own projects. And that was challenging for me.

—— Aside from coding, what other specific skills did you obtain that you think are essential for your career growth as a teaching professional?

I was able to enhance my problem-solving skills here in Zuitt. It’s an important skill as a professional teacher and not just in coding itself. It’s helpful for my career growth.

With it, I learned to analyze unforeseen circumstances when it comes to coding through debugging errors. I also learned to handle different types of students, especially the career shifters who really don’t have any coding background at all. Another challenge is recognizing problems and implementing solutions during the class helped me become a proactive instructor.

—— What other opportunities do you think are available for you now that you teach code? Teaching opportunities? Other than teaching?

I’m looking into working on building projects of my own and trying to do part-time developer jobs. There are a lot of opportunities for freelancing as a web developer because it’s becoming more in-demand.

Teaching for Tech Industry is possible with Zuitt

—— How did you find out about Zuitt’s Train to Teach offer?

I found out about this offer from a college friend who was a previous boot camper from Zuitt. He was a Junior Web Developer at that time when he told me about Zuitt. I have seen the outcome of his training and that made me curious about the Bootcamp.

I actually tried to apply as a student in the Bootcamp but I encountered some delays on my end. After seeing the train to teach offer from Zuitt, I took the courage to reapply, and fortunately, I got the job! I was given a different opportunity. 

—— What were your expectations when you found out about it? 

I was really looking forward to gaining confidence in coding. Seeing my college friend excel at what he does (he was then promoted to a Senior Developer position), I thought to myself that maybe I can also have the same level of confidence after the training. We were from the same batch with the same degree and I was hoping to find even more confidence in teaching coding like how he’s confident working as a developer. I was expecting that I would also be capable when it comes to coding itself on top of leveling up my teaching skills. 

—— What were the factors that made you decide to grab this opportunity?

I was looking for a challenge for my professional career growth and a challenge to get in one last time. I told myself that if I would try again, and I didn’t get in, I would try something else. But luckily, I got in!

This opportunity is great! The cost is free. I would have mentors. The learning structure is direct. I had seen many good factors for me to grab this opportunity. And above all these perks, I’m still on track in my teaching profession. 

That time when I was trying to get in as a boot camper, I was hesitating about shifting careers to becoming a developer like my college friend. Getting in through this Train to Teach offer was a sign or message that I’ll still be teaching. 

—— Would you have applied for Zuitt’s train to teach program if it was introduced to you earlier on – as a fresh graduate with a Professional Teaching License?

If this opportunity would have been made available to me before, I would say, “yes, definitely!” It’s a good opportunity and a good investment for learning.

—— Why do you think that this is a good stepping stone for fresh graduates?

The training is a big deal. You’ll be tested. The skills that you will learn about coding in the Bootcamp will be good training. I really think that this would be really really helpful for all fresh graduates.

Fresh graduates with an IT-related degree,  they don’t usually know what career path they would like to take after graduation. But when you try the Bootcamp, you will have a clearer goal which will then be very helpful for your career growth.

—— How did Zuitt help nurture your career growth as a teaching professional?

I am very thankful for my mentors – the Supervisors and my co-instructors. They are very hands-on when it comes to advice, and when it comes to sharing what is needed to be done step by step. 

On my first day of teaching, they trained me well before I actually started. They have taught me to create a list of things I needed to do before starting the teaching. Also, every after the class, they help me to analyze problems or circumstances from the students; and guide me on how I would come up with a solution the next day. 

The Instructors here in Zuitt, especially the supervisors are very hands-on. I was able to build better teaching skills. 

First Day of Training Vs. First Day of Teaching with Zuitt

—— Tell me about your Bootcamp training.

I was in a Full-Time Batch so I had 2 months of training. I’m from Batch 61 under Instructor Chris. It was at the beginning of Zuitt’s online class launch. So, I was one of the pioneers to experience the online class. 

—— Tell us about your first day of training and then the first day of teaching. Any highlights/ memorable moments?

On my first day of training, I was super excited to learn, I didn’t have any problems at all. 

On the first day, GIT was discussed and I found it really interesting. I was amazed by that already.

On the first day of teaching, I was really nervous because I would have to apply everything I have learned from my Bootcamp training. I was asking myself “how can I teach the technical skills that I have learned? How would I water down every topic so that my students would be able to understand everything?” So, yes, my first day of training was really challenging. 

Before I started my teaching, we were given time to prepare the materials. We were tasked to do a demo teaching. In the demo teaching, there was feedback. It helped out a lot because there was a simulation before starting the class.

I am very thankful for my supervisor, Sir Alan. He really helped me with handling certain situations that involve dealing with students. He boosted my morale as an instructor. I was also encouraged by my co-instructors.  

I felt that I was in good company. I am with good people who will help me and train me as an instructor and teaching professional.

—— Did you start teaching immediately after your two months full-time program?

After my Bootcamp training, I had to go through a series of sessions where I would do shadowing for classes. There is a good amount of time for the preparation for us, instructor candidates, to observe and do assistant teaching roles for ongoing batches. 

I had to do the shadowing, class observation, and demo teaching for almost 2 months before I actually handled a full batch. This helped me understand the flow or process of how Zuitt does its classes from start to finish. So, that is 2 months of Bootcamp training and additional 2 more months for the coaching sessions. My Bootcamp training was from June to July and then August and September were the preparation before my first ever batch as the main instructor by October. 

There is continuous learning and guidance even after all that. Sir Alan guided me and taught me to observe and list possible questions for discussions. And also, session plans and teaching approaches are thoroughly discussed. So, it was a very guided and hands-on transition for me.

Is this a recommended path?

—— Would you recommend this opportunity to your co-teachers?

I would definitely recommend this path to my co-teachers if they really want to pursue coding and if they are eager to learn to code. 

—— Any words of wisdom to those who are interested in this path?

I think you must have motivation. There will be struggles and it will be a challenge to learn coding skills. You need to be eager to learn how the process works in coding so that you will be more confident to teach it. 

Don’t forget to enjoy the experience. 

—— Are there other things that you would like to share with us?

For those who want to try Zuitt’s train to teach offer, I would say that it is a good investment in learning and at the same time you will gain career growth in teaching. In Zuitt, it won’t be a waste.

Why work as an IT instructor? The tech industry’s next generation of innovators relies on your drive to educate and to hone the skills of the upcoming Software Engineers. Zuitt will support your passion for teaching and interest in coding with its up-to-date curriculum that matches the market trend.

Why work for Zuitt Coding Bootcamp? Here at Zuitt, we are more than just a training institution. We are a team of passionate and purpose-driven individuals helping shape the future of IT Education in the world.

Interested in becoming a Zuitt IT instructor? Click here to take the first step!