Without our incredible instructors, General Assembly would not exist. It actually could not exist. It’s their passion, real-world expertise, and desire to share their knowledge with our students that make this place so valuable to communities around the world. Our instructors are awesome, and they deserve recognition. That’s why, to celebrate them and all they do, we extended National Teacher’s Day into a full Instructor Appreciation Week across our campuses: happy hours, catered lunches, and even some sweet chalk art.
Anna Lindow, GM of Campus Education at General Assembly, has been with us since 2011, and has seen how far our courses and educational offerings have come. She works closely with members of the campus team, instructors, and instructor assistants — from Seattle to London to Hong Kong.
Whether you’ve learned from one, want to learn from one, or are one yourself, join us in spotlighting GA’s spectacular instructors. Anna gives us a peek into the lives of these educational leaders and gets to the heart of why they mean so much to our mission.
Other than leading class, what is an instructor’s role at GA?
Since we first launched our education programs in 2011, our driving philosophy has been “practitioners as instructors.” Practitioners bring our content to life through their passion for the subject, and through the rich texture of the real-world examples and stories they weave into their lessons.
This not only helps students to internalize the information, but it also humanizes the work they are learning to do. It reminds our students that everyone, even experts, are learners, experimenting with tactics and approaches, getting feedback and learning from it.
Who are our instructors? What do you mean by “practitioners?”
The majority of our instructors are active in the field: They’re people who have the skill sets we teach and use them daily. When they sign up to teach at GA, they are signing up to go on a personal and professional journey that starts before day one of class — when they begin our training program — and accelerates very quickly.
What kind of training do instructors go through?
We are able to accelerate their development as educators by providing consistent coaching and feedback. As our Instructor Development team likes to say: “Did you learn to ride a bike by watching a presentation on bike riding? Or by watching a video? No. You tried riding a bike, fell down, and were given feedback about how to get back on and do better the next time.”
Similarly, we believe in real-time performance coaching for instructors. Just like our students, they learn by doing, supported by their teachers — our team which is trained in instructional coaching. By staying open to feedback and committed to always getting better, the pace at which our educators they grow and change as educators can be truly staggering.
Why does GA care so much about Instructor Appreciation Week?
Starting a new career is at once terrifying and incredible. Our instructors make it possible to achieve. Please join me in thanking all of our instructors and instructional team for the hard work they do to make GA a place where students are empowered —and excited — to pursue work they love. They make our company what it is. From Rashida in New York, to Gerry in London, to Phil in LA, every one of our instructors is unique, inspiring, dedicated, and passionate.
Cheers to our instructors.