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Support 21st century literacy for all from home

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What challenges might we face with just a little support?

She keeps saying I don’t know.
I’m almost telling her which keys to press.
I know she’s not learning.
I’m charging by the hour.
She needs my help.
I say: “what if I stop charging you until we fix it.”
The tension breaks.
She’s listening.
I’m listening.
I ask her questions.
She looks at the red and black syntax error.
I see her thinking.
She types changes.
The red fades into the past.
She fixed it.

Code Whatever began seven years ago in free coding labs.
We’ve hosted more than 137 online labs and workshops with our five star meetup.
We ask every learner “what brings you here?”
Some dream of hosting Minecraft servers where brave friendships are formed.
Or of making websites as poised and articulate as their dreams.
Many dream of feeling for the first time ever what it’s like having a job you really love.
For us, strategic success is in supporting learners by teaching to teach.

My name is Beaei Pardo.
I am the founder of Code Whatever.
Since childhood, I help folx build their dreams with and without computers.
To this day, I am a five star mentor on CodeMentor.io.
By 2015 my students got job offers at Fortune 500s.
Now I am leading Systems Thinking and Pedagogy at Code Whatever.
I am commited to being a full time steward of the challenge to apply and teach the Vanguard Method and progressive education at Code Whatever.
I am commited at least until our team of educators can facilitate and teach teaching as such together.

Testimonials

Here is what students have to say about me (Beaei) and Code Whatever:

Fernanda: "My experience was amazing!"


Jill: "You're coming to a safe space to learn, to say: I'm having a hard time. That you don't understand. Anything."


Sam: "Beaei really helped me understand recursion. And just thinking more recursively. That was a very difficult subject that I had a hard time grasping for a long time that Beaei helped me understand."


Students of our team members and Code Whatever have been hired and work at Rakuten, Expel, Google, WebMD, Pearson Education, Okta and NBC among many others.

As we gather more, we will add more testimonials here and on our website.

Our Team of Educators

Destinee "Semii" Adams


Meet Semii (she/her), a coding teacher with four years of experience. As a TA, she introduced high school students to Raspberry Pi and Python. She later joined a Black Girl Code internship, utilizing Agentsheets for block coding.

In middle school, Semii participated in Tech Prep, a program for girls interested in STEM. Through this three-year program, she discovered her passion for computer science, physics, and engineering. Today, Semii is a computer science major, inspired by her engaging STEM experiences. She aspires to recreate such opportunities for others, empowering their exploration.

Beyond work, she enjoys reading and biking.

Beaei (She/her)



Previously Beaei (she/her) was one of two founding co-leads of our nation's #1 rated coding Bootcamp. A member of the original core development team of Amply programming electric fleet buses to charge both making a profit and lowering carbon emissions.

In 2022, Beaei lived for four days and nights on and near the steps of the United States Senate which lead to the passage of the PACT Act guaranteeing 3.5 million veterans previously denied cancer treatment.

Her favorite thing as a teacher is watching her student teachers' learners discover their joy in learning.

Beaei's recent presentation at Chicago Cloud Native Foundation Chicago Meetup on Developer Portal Security (begins at 52:36):


Abigail Gellner




Abigail Gellner (she/her) is a software developer, educator, streamer, and podcaster. She has taught web development for the Flatiron School and Code Platoon, and has created software for clients such as Hertz and PODS.

As both a teacher and a developer, she strives to foster inclusion and fight for social justice in the tech industry.

We are not just helping folx achieve the things that matter.

We have three main synergistic objectives:

  • Help folx live purposeful, self determined lives
  • Support Human Rights
  • Systematically organize teachers to facilitate this

We are systematically teaching progressive education

What is Progressive Education?

Progressive education is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica : "One of its main objectives was to educate the 'whole child'—that is, to attend to physical and emotional, as well as intellectual, growth. The school was conceived of as a laboratory in which the child was to take an active part—learning through doing."

Here are videos of progressive educators who inspire our work, if you wonder what inspire and informs the methods we nurture when encouraging learning.

bell hooks challenges us to clarify what love is when so many people are so often harmed. She challenges educators and those who believe in human rights to build authentically supportive, self-determined communities.



Alfie Kohn inspires us below by sharing about our needs in life (and education) for a sense of belonging, autonomy and competence:



Eleanor Duckworth's Harvard Graduate School of Education 2012 Convocation Speech about how we can help learners find their curiosity:


Professor Duckworth helps us find better questions to help learners find powerful questions that use experience to challenge how we think profoundly.

Paolo Freire challenges us to learn and teach literacy with the power of curiosity, critical thinking and each individual's own voice:


bell hooks helps us understand what it means to be truly critical. Here she shares her story of about how she invited Paolo Freire into more open dialogue. This is an example of working with each other even when vulnerable (begins playing after 10 seconds):


How do we measure learning?

One measurement informs our success and own learning is Deborah Meier's notion of 5 habits of mind:

  • Evidence: what and why is something true?
  • Perspective: who might think differently?
  • Connections: what relates how?
  • Supposition: how many ways might this be?
  • Significance: who cares and why?

Deborah Meier about the nimbleness of these questions:



There's a better way

"In readying new teachers, I play the roles of our most frequent learners.
We use learners own words like: 'Can we practice Code Challenges?'"
-Beaei

We focus teacher learning on learning what helps learners steer their own ship with expert counsel and coaching available. We integrate this with the Vanguard Method.

What is the Vanguard Method?

We are actively applying the Vanguard Method. The Vanguard method is an intervention for service organizations to tranform from a "top down command and control organization to a systems thinking design." It is applied in the Public Sector and the Private Sector in all kinds of services and it has a record of results.

Here the Vanguard Method founder, John Seddon explains how the Vanguard Method works:



Beaei first learned about it almost a decade ago: "I constantly wondered: 'what would happen to factory workers losing their jobs all through my childhood?'" When I entered the workforce, I imagined management science would be state of the art. I quickly found service jobs everywhere couldn't meet the challenges they were called to meet. Watching John Seddon discuss the system we are trapped in, I saw how utterly broken management is. I saw when the boss would come and everyone would start looking busy. Often colleagues were just trying to survive at work. I knew I had to do something."

Now Beaei is no longer applying the Vanguard Method by herself.
We are working as a team.
We are currently studying demand.
We identify the types and frequencies of different things our learners ask of us.
This is helping us practice together being more helpful.
We use this profound learning to focus our efforts to help anyone anyone (including students) who want to practice and eventually help folx learn.

The Vanguard Method at a high level:


Vanguard Method Successes

Social Care – Portsmouth City Council
From contact to assessment: dropped from 96 days to 1.7 days.
Staff resources used per average client dropped from £623 down to £159.


Aviva
Reduced calls by 20,000 each month.
Now paying insurance claims over the phone, before it took 20 days.


Improving Healthcare in Sommerset from BBC Radio 4:




When practicing,
whenever we can learn we pause.
We find together experiential, interactive tactics for learning.

When we measure learners own words about why they want help,
we also measure whether folx are singing our praises, that expectations were met or if they were frustrated with how things went.
Organizations have to learn from the folx they exist to help or who will trust us?

When teachers are helping learners; we identify when to pull expert help.
When pulled, we work together with learners.
Now the learning teacher can help more.
This is how we build in long term value ever increasing.

How do we help folx do their own learning to understand enough to break from Command and Control thinking?
"It's hard to deny the evidence when you see it."
Haley discusses her doubts of the Vanguard Method and how she tested them herself:


We are learning together strategically right now.
This is not something any one of us will own.
We are building a community for learners, educators, quality of life and Human Rights.
We are building a system for healing, learning and self-determination.
Our organizational structure is a nonprofit.
We want to build a system that is larger than any of us,
but sees us all as human workers who want to spend our lives doing meaningful work.

Nobody is disposable: teachers and learners need our support

What makes the difference is that someone stays there with the learner and cares. Learners may not relax enough if there isn't someone in their life that really shows they care. Learners test teachers. Often reaching a learner means we have to show up at the hardest times and show how much we care.

Dr. David Langford using the example here of helping his own children learn to clean their bedroom helps us understand how we can systematically insure that we don't abandon our students and our teachers as we all learn to do better:



In the Vanguard method, the book Freedom From Command and Control has a section entitled: So you think you have a people problem? In much the same way as Dr. Langford shares: if someone among us wonders if a learner or a teacher has a motivation problem, we employ at least 18 questions we can ask ourselves of how we helped ensure success of workers before we even consider a "bad fit." This is the same approach the #1 car manufacturer Toyota uses. In Japan Toyota guarantees lifetime employment. They have "no less than 44 questions the manager must address to ensure the employees work in a system that enables them to perform." We can't move forward unless we stick with each other.

Most workers and students live in fear of being fired and punished at work. The work ethic of the Vanguard Method or Toyota Production System is to do whatever we can to make workers succeed. At Code Whatever, we are striving to build an environment where teachers and students are no longer afraid especially when we don't have to be. As educators, our work isn't always easy and it certainly can be brave, but we can all do better. We should live our values. Not just in how we treat learners but also educators.

Why does our society expect volunteers to sacrifice so much while also having to work normal jobs in a such tough economy? How can we ever catch up if we can't even show up?

When we don't stay with folx and care we lose teachers too

Creating Meaningful Jobs as we help learners

Folx on our team volunteer on this work often more than 10 hours per person per week.
We do this work out of love.
Not just for years on and off, but for the past months Beaei has been at this work more 40 hours each week for free.
Now is our chance to do something for education right now.

We have zero physical overhead.

Our servers currently cost less than $1 per month:


We do this in part by only running our servers when we need them. For instance, we only run our Terraria servers when we are playing and teaching server administration during Project GG .

If 400 folx donate $25, our team works 20 hours each week for three months.
All bills paid.
Payroll matters for winning grants.

Our main purpose in fundraising is to ensure that our team of educators can put our attention on teaching learners and teaching teachers.

Our expenses are very low. Most of the revenue that we will raise will go to payroll for teachers who are already working very hard donating our own time and money.


Below are screenshots of our budget:



Base annual pay for Educational Consultants is above $100,000 per year. We are not just teaching teachers to teach teaching. We are developing the next generation of educational consultants. We are teaching teachers to be strategic, efficient and effective. Our current plan is to pay teammates $35 per hour which is so much lower than fair market value, but every member of our team agrees that this could make a good living wage for each at this moment. The real hourly rate though would be much lower if we calculated how much time we have all volunteered.

In our budget you'll find all of our expenses calculated for our monthly expenses and an analysis of savings if we are able to purchase services in advance:





Our team of educators includes the three of us listed above.
There is enough money to hire a fourth teacher too.

We would use this funding to build a fund for hiring folx when we need expert help. We may need help with accessibility, learning different languages, mediation and expertise we don't already hold. This may be needed urgently by learners in some cases. We aim to respond rapidly and responsibly.

It may be that we have very few urgent challenges that our team can't handle. If student demand is high enough, we can also use our fund to hire another teacher not only to extend capability and capacity, but also while building a more diverse and inclusive teaching community.

Diversity, equity and inclusion shouldn't be so hard!
Let's make it the norm.

Intrigued?
Join a session or donate just $5.

Systemic learning doesn’t need more factories.
Give us your support and we will scale with love.

-Abby, Beaei, Semii and the whole Code Whatever team
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Donations 

  • Maple Osterbrink
    • $50 
    • 12 d
  • Anonymous
    • $150 
    • 2 mos
  • E. Joey Oppegaard-Peltier III
    • $30 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Owen Woodard
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
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Code Whatever
 
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Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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