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Tips from a Hatch Coding Coach

Coding is Creative: Tips from a Coach

Coding is Creative. The ability to transform ideas into code is a valuable skill for your child to learn and will help to prepare them for their future careers.

Our Hatch Coding Coach, Meghan, shares her coding journey with us from how Hatch Coding kick started her love for computer science and how coaching students has prepared her for a career in education.

Hatch Coding Coach - Meghan

Her Coding Journey: From Hatch Coding to Computer Science Certification

Meghan was one of Hatch Coding’s first 20 students back when it all began in January 2014. Always up for a challenge from an early age, she agreed to try coding with her brother when her parents suggested it. She’s been hooked on Hatch ever since!

After a year of learning to code with Hatch Coding, she was inspired to further her computer science and math skills and joined a specialized Math and Computer Science program at her high school. The program allowed her to fast track and complete her Grade 12 Advanced Placement Computer Science course by the end of Grade 10! After gaining her Computer Science certification, she wanted to share her passion for coding by helping other kids learn how to code; so she reached out to Hatch Coding and the rest is history!

As a creative person, why do you love coding so much?

My life has always been a fine balance between STEM and the Arts. Having attended a specialized arts program in middle school and now a specialized STEM program, I always seem to find myself pushed to one side or the other of this spectrum. What I love about Hatch Coding is that you’re taught the coding concepts but the student can add creativity and balance to that spectrum.

A truly amazing part of both coding and the performing arts is that after a long day of hard work, there is a completed project. Both a performance and coding program require a lot of work, thinking, and preparation and they both result in giving great satisfaction and pride. Even though what you’ve created may look simple to others, you know the effort that was put into it and how much you learned and how the experience has changed you. A background that changes colour may seem boring compared to the variety of games available on a console, but it’s the pieces behind the screen that make the project exciting.

Why did you decide to become a Coach with Hatch Coding?

I love to mentor and help others realize their own potential. I love the fact that Hatch Coding’s platform is self-guided and each student can choose what excites them. So depending on the kids’ interests - from art to numbers - they can create whatever they want with the coding concepts that Hatch teaches.

In the arts we say there are three steps to a performance. What is given to you, what is told to you, and what you do. The Hatch platform provides you with the tools, lessons, and ideas to begin. As I coach, I get to help students with the second step - the discovery of their potential. I love seeing the ideas that the students bring and how their creativity changes their understanding. Since I also remember doing some of these projects as a student, now as a coach, I can look back at my own experiences and realize how important they were to me and that brings me a better understanding of my students.

What’s the impact of Hatch Coding lessons now only being offered online?

The biggest advantage is the one-on-one focused learning. It is much easier as a coach to get to know the child and how they learn best. Back when we taught in the learning centers, there were groups of students at different levels and varied interests, so it was harder to give individual attention to each student.

Now I can take notes on each of my students and decide how to best further their own understanding and enjoyment of working with the material. I have had many of my students and their parents thank me for running their classes. Students really enjoy having something to look forward to, especially in the pandemic when many of their other activities have been cancelled or postponed.

Hatch Coding Coach - Meghan

What advice do you have for parents who are interested in signing their child up for Hatch Coding?

Sign up! I’m the arts kid who lives on performance stages and now teaches Computer Science! Even if your child isn’t initially interested in learning to code, or doesn’t think they are the next Steve Jobs, they may find an aspect they love. I found creativity. Further, I would encourage parents to have their kids try it at a young age. Coding and computer technologies are going to become more essential in society, not less. Hatch Coding gave me a huge advantage in my logical thinking and helped me progress in a demanding specialized program.

What do you do for fun?

Pre pandemic - Usually, I run my life like a show; a million acts and no time for set changes. I love to make music and perform and I play a variety of instruments but I primarily play trumpet. I was in multiple music groups including directing my own ensemble. I was involved in the Toronto District School Board Student Senate a few years ago. I also performed in, stage managed and have directed many music and theatre performances. I always seemed to find a way to fill every minute of my calendar.

Pandemic times - The pandemic initially made me miss my life, my friends, and my crazy list of things to do. It was a really rough adjustment to figure out how to sit at home. After a while, I came to my ‘new normal’ and am now involved once again in theatre and music clubs and chair the music council at my high school. I was honoured to participate in the COVID Creations Concert virtual charity this past weekend that raised over 14 thousand dollars for COVID-19 research.

One of the best things that happened during this pandemic was coming back to my usual life. One key aspect was returning to Hatch Coding this summer. I began working with Hatch the previous summer and worked part time during the school year. I decided that I needed something that gave me joy and that would give me something to look forward to each day. I said earlier that Hatch gives our students something to explore, but it also gave me an additional step back into my life.

Coding is Creative: Teaching More Than Coding Skills

Meghan continues to coach students towards coding success with Hatch Coding and what her students like about her coaching style is: She explains the coding concepts in ways they understand and makes the effort to connect with them in their interests beyond coding.

Meghan is looking at pursuing a career in education after high school. She is grateful for the experiences she has had at Hatch Coding in strengthening her problem-solving skills and opening doors for her future career.

Our goal at Hatch Coding is to teach your child lifelong skills to help them be successful in any career they choose to pursue in their future.

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