As I said in an earlier post, I’ve decided to forgo new year’s resolutions this year and try The Theme System from CGP Grey and Myke Hurley. You can get an overview from CGP Grey’s video. This post is to discuss my theme and a quantified self deep dive. The deep dive is into some of my personal data as my first steps toward my theme.

[This article is also posted on my personal blog so it is freely accessible.]

Theme: Being Well-Rested

My semester’s theme is “Being Well-Rested.” Despite being long, this theme resonates with me and has a bunch of stuff…


As the year draws to a close, it’s that time of year to start thinking about new year resolutions. So I thought I’d write a quick post on what I’m currently contemplating about what I plan to do in hopes that it’ll help others by raising awareness of an example of how to think of this.

[This article is also posted on my personal blog so it is freely accessible.]

First, I just discovered The Theme System through a recent CGP Grey video. He created it with Myke Hurley, and they discuss it on their podcast Cortex, which I also…


This is a re-post of one of the most popular posts on my original blog.

In my post, “How I track my to-do-list”, I linked to my publically accessible Trello project templates. That Trello board has my “Creating an Exam” card list. This list has cards referring to how I test my exam, but I didn’t elaborate on that process. So I thought given the season (of exams) I’ll write a post about it.

First, I want to acknowledge Jan Plane at the University of MD, College Park, where I want to undergrad. I served as her undergraduate TA and…


This is a re-post of one of the most popular posts on my original blog.

I use Trello to track all the things I need to do. Trello, at its core, is just a to-do list management tool. It is versatile to many organization strategies and is great for a single person or a team to organize the tasks that need doing. However, this versatility can be very daunting as a novice because you are just starting to figure out a system to keep track of what you need to do. And a novice rarely does well in an environment…


This article is also posted on my personal blog so it is freely accessible.

This is the last post of a 5 blog post series on how I organize the teaching staff for my 200+ student class. This post discusses how I run my weekly meeting with my head staff. The head staff is a subgroup of my teaching staff that helps me organize all the others. In this post, I discuss how I split the meeting into two phases to allow some head staff to leave when talking about topics that are not relevant to their responsibilities. …


This article is also posted on my personal blog so it is freely accessible.

This is post #4 of a 5 post series on how I organize the teaching staff for my 200+ student class. This post discusses how I track all the class’s tasks. I start with an overview of Trello, the tool I use to track tasks. Next is a discussion on my overall task management approach. I then move on to how I use Trello to structure the task lists, common and recurring tasks, and a task’s life cycle. …


This article is also posted on my personal blog so it is freely accessible.

This is post #3 of a 5 post series on how I organize the teaching staff for my 200+ student class. This post discusses how I communicate with my teaching staff. I first go over how the semester starts because part of communication is setting the tone for the semester. Then I spend the rest of the post discussing how I center all of my communication in Slack, a chat tool that enables organizing conversations through channels. …


This article is also posted on my personal blog so it is freely accessible.

This is post #2 of a 5 post series on how I organize the teaching staff for my 200+ student class. I have seven different roles in my teaching staff organized into a three-layered hierarchy. This post drills down into each teaching staff’s role by outlining their tasks and responsibilities. I close with some general thoughts.

The other posts in this series are as follows (I’ll update with links as I post):

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching staff roles (You are here)
  3. How I communicate with my teaching staff


This is also posted on my personal blog where it will be freely accessible.

This is post #1 of 5 on how I organize and structure the teaching staff for my introductory computer science (CS1) class, CS101 “Introduction to Computer Science.” This class has over 200 students each semester, with the fall semesters typically having 30–50 more students than the spring semesters.

This post will be information on my background, context, teaching staff structure with a handy graphic, and organization generally.

Future posts will contain more details on teaching assistant (TA) roles and duties, how we communicate, how we track…

Kristin Stephens-Martinez

Assistant Professor of the Practice in Computer Science at Duke University

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