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What I learned from “failing” to teach my first AWS course

I have been working with AWS for more than 5 years already and this spring I was selected by AWS to become an AWS Community Builder in Republic of Moldova. I have teamed up with Tekwill Academy who already has a lot of amazing IT courses and organize a lot of events for the local community, to give an AWS course to a local bank and in the future have courses to students and people that wish to transition into cloud and DevOps. I have started to teach my AWS course at the end of August 2022 and finished it a couple of days ago mid-November (initially it was planned to finish it end of October, but I needed to postpone some lessons because of personal issues).

This are the lessons I learned from this:

  1. Being an AWS Certified Cloud Engineer and having lots of years of experience, doesn’t make you a great teacher — no matter how many projects you have done in the past, it doesn’t mean you can teach, it gives you the weight of having experience but every small mistake in the way of your students gives them the benefit of doubt of your qualifications.

  2. Great trainers prepare the courses well in advance — never leave preparing the slides for the last moment, this course came unexpected, so I had literally been preparing slides and material in the day of the lesson or the day before. This combined with working on real projects made me do them as fast as possible, so I am sure I have omitted important thing.

  3. Nether underestimate your audience — on-line training and off-line differ a lot, if you are off-line, you can expect questions of situations that you have never encountered, and you are expected to answer immediately, thus on-line you have some time to prepare and give an answer

  4. On-line video courses are totally different from a course with a trainer — this actually relates to the point above, I have taken many on-line courses for my work and sometimes I wish I could have asked the trainer a question that related to a real issue I had at the moment.

  5. Community matters — AWS Community Builders and folks at AWS helped me a lot in getting answers on issues I have never faced but students asked.

  6. Improvement nether stops — after the lessons learned from this attempt I will improve, I have already ideas on making the slides more fun, the labs and the hands-on task much interactive.

You may have noticed that the title had failing in quotes, though I feel I have could done better, I consider this a learning experience and actually I have learned a lot from preparing this course so it’s not a failure at all. I know what can be done better and in 3 months I will have a better course and will be prepared to share the knowledge with other.

Top comments (3)

aditmodi profile image
Adit Modi

I have been working on AWS for more than 4 years now. I have given more than 100 talks around cloud and technology. There is a lot of preparation that goes behind ensuring that session is a success.

Last week, I gave an workshop on AWS Cloud practitioner at an university, I had prepared a lot but due to shortage of time, I couldn't complete the entire session.
Each workshop and session that I do, it's not a failure if I am able to learn something from it.

Do share your knowledge with everyone; doing so benefits the community!

megaproaktiv profile image
Gernot Glawe

Great insight.
As I am training or AWS AAI trainers at tecRacer, I can not stress 2) enough.
Before you teach something, you have to say it out loud and really know your stuff. Its the dunning kruger effect :)

luciaparson profile image
Lucia Parson

Your dedication to teaching the AWS course, even amidst personal challenges, speaks volumes about your commitment. The lessons learned from this experience undoubtedly add valuable insights to your journey and also visit site there. Wishing you continued success in your endeavors to educate and empower others in the realm of AWS, cloud, and DevOps. Your efforts contribute significantly to the growth and skill development of the local IT community. Well done!