My Teaching Herstory

Once upon a time, there was a young woman who started making websites because she wanted to write and design. However, she landed in the land of Project Management by accident, and became listless and despondent spending her days looking at endless lines of spreadsheets. She decided to take up soap-making in order to express her creativity. One batch led to another and another and another, and the next thing you know, she started selling it. Then one day, someone asked “what’s in soap? How do you make it?” and then she started spreading the gospel of soapmaking.

The above story is true: I designed, developed and taught herbal-related craft classes as part of my soap-making business Botani Handmade Soaps. It was through creating and leading these workshops that I discovered that I had a love and gift for teaching, and having an audience to speak to.

At the same time, I was working in the web industry. At one point, thoroughly vexed with and frustrated by being a Project Manager for a web team, an epiphany after teaching a soap-making class prompted me to think of teaching HTML. Why not? I had several years of industry experience at that point, and teachers with both the skills and background were rare in 2000. So, one thing led to another, and I became part-time faculty at Seattle Central Community College, where I designed, developed, and taught web design and development and other computer classes for almost five years.

After yet another failed stint at Project Management after moving to Miami, I decided to follow my dream and write a book. The book deal that fell into my lap was to write The CSS Detective Guide, which launched me into speaking and also into teaching CSS3 workshops.

You know what they say, however: all good things must come to an end. In 2012, I’ve decided to move on from focusing on Front-end Web Development to Creativity and Innovation. However, I am thankful that I stumbled into teaching these courses, because they were amazing to teach at the time, and are the reason why I am able to do what I do today.

(And yes, that is me in the photo above — back when I was “juicier”. What a difference 100 pounds makes. But that is a different story for me to tell at a later date.)