About my teaching

Many teachers attempt only to place information into the minds of their students. But I look at the big picture. If you want to really learn, then you need 3 things from my lessons:

  • to absorb the information
  • to connect the dots
  • and most important, to develop a real understanding

It’s important that I allow you to develop understanding through your own insights in the way that’s most comfortable to you.

It’s important that I allow you to develop understanding through your own insights in the way that’s most comfortable to you.

I believe that you learn best when you’re not under stress and when you’re given bite-sized information that you can absorb easily. I set aside my perspective as an expert and focus on seeing things from your perspective.

My style of teaching developed from my early attempts to teach younger students at Caltech. In addition to my technical studies, I played trombone in the school bands. I wrote a short booklet called “You Already Know How to Play Trombone,” which described trombone techniques in terms of common actions.

I continue that tradition today by focusing on explaining complex things with simple metaphors.

In the 2000’s I worked at a NASA laboratory in Pasadena and part of my job was to teach programming to the rocket scientists. (Simple metaphors help rocket scientists, too!)

I also took a 500-hour training course in the application of mindfulness to learning. I find applications for mindful learning in computer science and in many places, even my study of music composition at Cal State University, Northridge.

Here are 6 important strategies I use when I’m teaching:

Building a strong foundation

Helping you connect the dots before we progress to the next level.

Encouraging small steps

Showing that a large goal can be reached by many small steps.

Keeping it simple

Avoiding unnecessary complexity.

Using your imagination

Using your imagination to make ideas concrete and easier to remember.

Asking for precision

Thinking clearly and precisely about the solution.

Developing independence

Asking you to solve problems through your own insights, whenever possible.


Code with greater ease

You can work through typical stumbling blocks with a greater sense of ease by using outside-the-box methods and “working smarter.” You can give yourself permission

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Copyright 2020, Mike Mossey
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