Nomad Instructor Stories

Sherman teaches to share his expertise and to make an impact




Data Scientist

How is the teaching experience at Preface different from being a TA in Boston University?

The biggest difference is the personalisation of lessons here at Preface. Back at BU the lessons were more of a cookie-cutter approach whereas Preface focuses on the individuality of the student. It’s all about finding the right approach for the right student!

What was your motivation behind becoming a Nomad Instructor?

Having the flexibility to teach, choosing a schedule that fits my lifestyle is definitely an important thing, but mostly it gives me the opportunity to engage with people I would otherwise not. As a data engineer I spend most of my time isolated, so having the medium to engage with others not just in a work setting, but on a personal level where I can share my knowledge is appreciable.

What challenges did you face as a Nomad Instructor?

I think the biggest challenge stems from recognising the uniqueness of each student. For each student I have to experiment with my teaching style to see what really ticks and adjust accordingly. As per Preface’s motto, it’s all about experimentation until you find the most appropriate approach for the student.

How do you prepare to make sure students have a great learning experience?

As I teach Python, a lot of my students are adults who wish to upskill themselves, so naturally I don’t want to waste their time and deliver on the materials promised. So before every lesson, I’ll go through the notes and try to envision them from the student’s perspective to clear up any questions they may have.

Which part of the Preface training did you find the most beneficial?

I found the training sessions to be most helpful as it allowed us to see and experience how Nomads actually teach in the field. It really enforces the ideology that our lessons aren’t just straight knowledge transfers, but how we can teach it in a way that relates back to their daily lives and really engage them. The other part I really appreciated is the teaching demos, where we were grouped in teams. Having the opportunity to see other instructors teach showcased the small things that I could improve on that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed.

How would you describe the culture at Preface?

You guys are definitely a friendly bunch! So far from what I can tell the people are very close-knitted, and I can see the support you guys have for each other and for the Nomads, for example when I have questions regarding my own classes, I was given a lot of support especially for my first few classes.