Mentor, volunteer, and support CoderDojo groups
How to get involved
- Start your own dojo, we can help!
- Join the Meet-up group.
- Review learning materials on Github.
- Mentor at an upcoming event
- Join our Slack: CoderDojo Canada
- Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to stay informed about upcoming events.
- Are you a student collecting volunteer hours? Contact us before attending.
FAQ’s for Mentors & Volunteers:
- How do I prepare for my first session?
- Read the Canada Learning Code Teacher’s Guide for tips on working with kids and getting started with Scratch. Review our Github. We start all new learners with Scratch, and based on their progress are encouraged to choose projects they are interested. Each folder in our Github is approximately represented in real life with color-coded duo tangs: Scratch, Web, Programming, and Hardware. Mentors can easily spot and support students working on projects and material that match your skill set.
- How old should I be to volunteer?
- Any age. Generally our mentors are over 18, but kids teaching kids mentorships is encouraged.
- How long does each volunteer shift last for?
- Events are no longer than 2.5 hours, with breaks. You can expect to be present for roughly 3.25 hours including pitching in for event set-up and/or tear-down, plus an opportunity to provide feedback.
- What skills are required to volunteer?
- Creativity, patience, kindness, and child appropriate behaviour are all required. Mentors are expected to be familiar with our Scratch resources, including the MIT developed ‘Creative Computing’ Scratch Workbook, building Scratch programming knowledge and creativity with computers.
- What can I expect when I show up for the first time?
- Show up 10 minutes early to look over the resources, and be able to speak to organizers before the rush. Things are often a bit chaotic at the start of the event as we gauge the different dynamics of each event. We am to new students and mentors 1:1. Each learner is unique, and you will be working with their strengths and weaknesses. Help them work through the resources, help them troubleshoot, and give them ideas and motivation – teach them to express their creativity with computers.
- Can I still volunteer if I have no coding experience?
- Yes! We are looking for volunteers who can push the project forward through fundraising, curriculum development, website support, and social media contributions. If your skills are more suited to greeting students, taking photos, or making sure snacks and coffee are available there is plenty to do.
- I’m not in Toronto!
- If there is no CodeDojo in your area, you are in a great spot start a dojo! There are tonnes of perks, but it takes a sustained effort to start a new group. We’ve been at it a while, and would be happy to help answer your questions, provide resources, and give direction on how you can get your local CoderDojo group off the ground.
Tips for mentors
The goal is simply to inspire young coders and teach them how to use code to create, tell stories, solve problems, and be awesome. Make it fun!
- Ask questions
- Integrate their interests
- Encourage them to put thoughts on paper
- Be a guide through resources
- Don’t be afraid to get distracted
Our Basic Game in Scratch exercise is delivered at all special events and is offered to first time students at the Dojo.
As students skills grow we have HTML, Python, and Arduino exercises printed on-hand. Coders who have worked with common languages are well equipped to handle most scenarios – though there have been a handful of kids who were already better coders than most. 🙂
Volunteer Opportunities at CoderDojo Toronto: