A good teacher is like a superhero. They provide students with skills and self-confidence to shape their futures with. Hatch Coding Coaches teach students Computer Science Superpowers.
Hatch Coding is proud to have coding coaches with high-caliber talents for teaching kids programming skills. All of our coaches have a vulnerable sector check and go through rigorous training prior to being onboarded. And they teach with each student’s interests as their guide.
This top coach knows 12 programming languages, has a minor in Computer Science and is a Level Four Certified Expert Coach - Meet Dylan!
From Actor to Coding Coach:
All Paths Led Him Back to Coding
Dylan joined Hatch Coding just six months ago and coaches over 30 students each week. He was first introduced to coding in Grade 6 with the programming language, Logo. It is a programming language that uses commands to move a turtle icon around on the screen. Once he learned how to use a loop, his excitement for all that you could create with code lit a spark to learn more.
He continued to code throughout high school and then went on to get his minor in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo while majoring in Math. After University he took some time to explore his many interests. He tried everything from acting to working in construction, to writing short stories. It was short stories that brought him back to his first love - coding. He wanted to figure out a way to program new stories based on random snippets from his existing ones, so he dove into mastering Python and hasn’t looked back since.
Coding is Like Cooking: Teaching Coding with Metaphors Kids Understand
Dylan’s teaching philosophy is, “Set a goal for yourself.” This may sound simple, but he highlights; “When students don’t know why they’re learning something, then there will be no motivation for them to learn it.”
When he’s teaching students new to coding, he uses the metaphor that learning to code is like learning to cook: “If you go into the kitchen and just start throwing things together, then what you make likely won’t be very tasty. But if you have a goal, like wanting to bake a cake, then you know where to start and what to achieve. If the cake recipe asks you to ‘fold in the ingredients’ and you’ve never done that before, then this is the perfect reason to learn it! And then every cake that you make will be better than the last because you’ll practice this skill until you master it.”
Teaching with Hatch Studio: Tailored to Student’s Interests for Independent Learning
Hatch Studio has over 600 projects and themes for students to choose from. Dylan uses students’ interests as his guide when teaching them how to read and write code. For example, he has a student who is extremely artistically talented and who likes to take her time to code beautiful works of art. He assigns her art-themed projects on Hatch Studio that she can apply new coding concepts to, like functions and loops. He notes, “She’s getting more comfortable with numbers and how precise you can be with them. And she’s taking advantage of how functions and for loops make her life easier, while simultaneously practicing both art and programming to get the best of both worlds.”
Students learn at their own pace with Hatch Studio. And according to Dylan, “The most important thing that Hatch Coding teaches is autonomy. Students learn to learn on their own and to think for themselves. They practice the skills that they want to learn and end up discovering things that they didn’t know they liked or appreciated. Seeing how much fun our students have when they’re coding gives me the sense that this is the best approach to learning how to code.”
Bringing More than Coaching Skills to Hatch Coding
When not coaching, Dylan is building new projects to put up on Hatch Studio for kids to learn with. Check out his Growing Apples Project that teaches students how to use the mouse-click function. Here’s a sneak peak of one of his latest projects that will soon be available to students to purchase with their coins, in Hatch Coding’s Marketplace (that will soon launch). His Spiral Project (see below) will teach students how math equations can be used to make beautiful designs and how programmers can easily customize those designs by separating variables from logic within the code.
He’s also working on a new tool to improve the coach experience on Hatch Studio. The tool is in prototype and it will make uploading projects to Hatch Studio easier for coaches, potentially cutting down turnaround time by up to 90%.
When not at his computer, Dylan can usually be found outdoors. He loves to get out for walks, both as a preferred mode of transportation and to just explore the city. In the summer he loves to garden and grows most of his own vegetables, getting cooking ideas from the TV show Top Chef. In his downtime he enjoys playing Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and is currently challenging himself to do a warp-less Master Mode run.