Running A Class

Pre-Class Checklist

  • Lead Teachers understand the content that they will be teaching

    • This includes the teaching for the day and the homework

  • All volunteers know when and where they should be attending

  • Volunteers attending for this first time have somebody to greet them and show them how CYF works

  • Students know when and where they will be attending the class

  • Somebody has been chosen to run energisers during the day

  • If lunch is being provided - somebody is in charge of coordinating it


Here is an example schedule of a day events at a normal class

Activity Breakdown

Arrange Classroom

What is this?

Before every class we need to layout the classroom so that it's ready for the day. This usually means arranging the classroom into small groups of 4 or 5 per table so that people can work together easily.

Who runs this?

It is normally the responsibility of the students to make sure the classroom is ready for class.

Why do we do this?

We strongly believe that 'We Are All Crew' and it is important that the students take an active role in preparing for class.


What is this?

Energisers are short - often physical - games that are used to energise our students to be ready for the day. They will normally take 10-15 minutes to run and are fairly informal in structure.

Who runs this?

Usually a Personal Development volunteer will run the energisers but it can be run by anyone.

Why do we do this?

Energisers are important to help break the ice at the beginning of each day and allow our volunteers and students to get to know each other.

In the afternoon, this helps to pick up the mood after lunch and get people ready to learn.

Student Retrospective

What is this?

At the start of each day we have our students look back on the week's homework and discuss what went well and what they struggled with.

Who runs this?

Why do we do this?

As well as simulating a real life work environment it is helpful for the students to understand that they are not alone in not understanding the homework. They will all - at different times - struggle with the homework and so they should be open to sharing their difficulties.

Volunteer Kick-off

What is this?

At the beginning of each day it is important that all of our volunteers understand the objectives of the day. This meeting usually includes:

  • Introducing new volunteers to the group

  • Discussing what will be taught in today's lesson

  • Students we should be giving particular help to

  • Thanking the volunteers for attending

Who runs this?

The Class Coordinator will normally chair the kick off but anyone can suggest agenda points throughout the meeting.

Why do we do this?

It is important at CodeYourFuture for all volunteers to feel engaged throughout the day and this starts with introductions. Too often, we are so excited to start teaching we forget to make our volunteers feel welcome and appreciated at the start of the day. This really does set the basis for the day and helps grow our community.

Morning Teaching

What is this?

The teaching section of the day is the core part of our classes.

Who runs this?

This is coordinated and delivered by the Education Team. More information about the classroom roles can be found here.

Why do we do this?


What is this?

It's time to eat, unwind and digest what we've been learning about over the past two hours. Also, it's a time that we can all get to know each other!

Who runs this?

This is provided by CodeYourFuture or by a partner organisation or by the students themselves. Please speak to your city coordinator to find out more.

Afternoon Teaching

What is this?

Teaching is what we're here to do! Normally this section of the day will expand on information that is introduced in the first half the lesson.

Who runs this?

This is coordinated and delivered by the Education Team. More information about the classroom roles can be found here.

Homework Briefing

What is this?

Giving the students a summary of their homework and work they are expected to do through the week.

Who runs this?

This is run by an Education Team Volunteer (preferably one of the Classroom Assistants).

Why do we do this?

So that the students understand what homework they have got to do by the next week of class. Any questions about the homework can also be covered in this section.

Volunteers Retrospective

What is this?

We run a short retrospective where we discuss:

  • Which students did well

  • Which students struggled in this lesson

  • What went well with our teaching and delivery

  • What could be improved for our next lesson

Who runs this?

This meeting is chaired by the Class Coordinator but any participant can add agenda points during the meeting.

Why do we do this?

It's important that students are tracked as they move through the course so that we can better support them. Retrospectives are also important so volunteers can improve their teaching.

Tidy Up

What is this?

When we're in a physical classroom (i.e. not an online lesson) we need to make sure everything is clean and tidy for when the next people use the space. This is important as we're normally hosted in another companies office!

We need to make sure that

  • All tables are back to where they should be

  • All washing up is clean and put away

  • Teaching space is tidy

  • Projectors and lights are turned off

Who runs this?

This is coordinated and completed by the students.

Why do we do this?

To be respectful of the space that we're using to run our classes

Facilitating Classes - Guidelines


  1. Encourage every student to speak

  2. Ensure every student feels they can ask questions any time

  3. Trainers to be able to assess a minimum threshold level for the class (below average)


  1. Avoid too many questions to the whole class. Instead prompt people that you don’t hear much/anything from.

    1. The same people will answer most questions to the whole class and you will have a false awareness of class understanding

  2. Avoid speaking for more than 20 mins at the time.

  3. Organise short group discussions to encourage communication

    1. Big group discussions allow people to disconnect and zone out

  4. Don’t ask ‘does everybody see…‘ instead ask for the opposite: ‘who does not have clear x or y?’ If nobody offers an answer, then prompt a couple of people and if they don’t know ask for others that don’t know.

  5. Assess student attention. People looking down or with the hands in their faces (especially around their forehead) indicate that they are either confused or tired or bored.

  6. Ensure that most people in your class ask a question or make a comment during your session. Encourage everybody to speak either by prompting individually or asking those to raise their hands who know the answer to a question and haven’t contributed to class

Ideas for Teachers

While one trainer is leading the class, have another trainer observe and note people that are not speaking. Intervene when necessary.

Guidelines for Teaching Assistants

  • Don’t hijack the keyboard

  • Don’t give direct answers

  • Guide people to find a solution on their own

  • Answer questions with other questions