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Tutorial Hosts

A Tutorial Host is a volunteer who helps at the start of a specific tutorial session. Their purpose:

  • Welcome students and help them get settled. For many students (and possibly you, too) this is their first PyCon and their first impression of PyCon. The tone we set with each person sets the tone for PyCon this year and going forward. We are a welcoming and friendly community.

  • Help Instructors by offloading some of the administrative work of getting people settled. In a small class of 20 the Instructor can usually do all of this alone, but in most classes they can't. This also helps classes start on time.

  • Be sure people who have signed up for the tutorial can attend. Unfortunately, room is limited in most tutorials and we only have room for those who have signed up. In a few cases last year, people who signed up for a tutorial were left standing or sitting on the floor because all the seats had been taken by the time they arrived.

  • Help PyCon track tutorial attendance more closely (how many no-shows, how many TAs are helping, etc.)

Before the Tutorial

  • Go to the tutorial/registration desk about 20 minutes before the start of the tutorial session

  • Pick up a Tutorial Host sheet for a tutorial. The sheet will have:

    • A list of students sorted by badge number
    • A list of tutorials and locations (in case someone is lost or is requesting to change tutorials)
    • These instructions.
  • Go to the classroom

In the Classroom

  • Introduce yourself to the instructor

    • Ask if they have handouts to hand out to students as they arrive. We prefer these not be left on tables ahead of time to be sure each student gets one.

    • Ask if they have any specific instructions to pass on to arriving students.

    • Find out if there are TAs in the tutorial who are ready to help with laptop setup if required.

    • Ask them how many TAs they have and make a note of it on the sheet for our records.

  • Go around the classroom to greet any students that have arrived early, check their name on the list, etc., as per below.

  • Set-up your greeting station - stand at the door, sit on a chair, sit at a table with handouts - whatever you prefer.

As students arrive

  • Greet them at the classroom door

  • Make sure they're in the right tutorial

  • Check off their name/badge number on the registration list

  • Give them a printed handout if there is one for the tutorial

  • Ask if they need any help setting up their laptop for the class, directing them to a TA if required

  • Answer any other questions they may have, or try to direct them to someone who can

  • Encourage them to leave the back row or two for people arriving late

As the Tutorial starts

  • Stay around for about 20 minutes to be sure people arriving late find a place to sit and get any help they need. You can hang out inside or outside the door.

  • Double-check the number of TAs. If there are more than the Instructor says, for example if some extras were added last minute, please update the TA count on the sheet for our records.

  • If you're not in the tutorial (as a student or a TA), please give the sheet to a TA (if there is one) or the Instructor as you leave. They will be collected at the break.

What to do if...

  • If someone doesn't have their PyCon badge and number, direct them to the registration desk to pick up their badge.

  • If someone's badge number or name isn't on the sheet, have them show you the back of their badge which lists the tutorials they've signed up for. They may be in the wrong room, or their tutorial may be later.

  • If someone says they signed up for a different tutorial and want to switch:

  • If you're hosting a tutorial that has 75 or more students on the list, tell them it's full. There may be more than 75 chairs, but that's to give enough room to students that they won't be bumping elbows.

  • If the tutorial has less than 75 students and lots of space in the room, we might be able to accommodate them, but it's complicated:

    • Check with the Instructor to see if they mind someone switching into their tutorial.

    • If others have already switched into this one, stop at 10%, i.e. don't allow more than 10% to switch into this tutorial.

    • Have the person who wants to switch show you their badge to verify which other tutorial they signed up for in the same time slot.

    • Ask them to tell the host of the other tutorial that they won't be attending.

    • Add their badge number, name, and the tutorial they had signed up for (by number is fine) to the list.

    • Don't give them a handout (if the tutorial has handouts).

    • If they offer to stand or sit on the floor, either tell them no, that diminishes the tutorial experience for others, but they can go to the Tutorial Coordinator at the registration/tutorial desk to discuss, or just say you're not sure and direct them to the tutorial desk to ask that question.

    • Use your judgement. The guidelines above are intended to reduce problems and maximize the quality of the tutorials for everyone, but primarily for those that signed up for this tutorial, not those that want to switch. If the rules aren't working to accomplish that, bend them.

  • If someone is uncooperative, ask a TA or the Instructor for help, or go to the tutorial desk to ask for help.