The premiere source of truth powering network automation. Open and extensible, trusted by thousands.

NetBox is now available as a managed cloud solution! Stop worrying about your tooling and get back to building networks.

Pedagogical Practice and a Pertinent Podcast

By stretch | Monday, June 21, 2010 at 1:04 a.m. UTC

Yes, I like alliteration.

Last weekend was exciting for me, as it marked my first official gig as an IT instructor. I was a bit anxious waiting for the class to start, but as soon as it got going it felt so natural. Training has always been a passion of mine, and in many ways this web site has been an outlet for that passion, but I've always wanted to do something more formal. Fortunately, I was afforded this great opportunity to get my feet wet through a chance meeting.

Some of you may recall that late last year I produced and began selling an interior routing protocols poster (also available for free in PDF). Early this month I was contacted by the CEO of a small training company in the Washington, DC area called Insyte, who was interested in purchasing some posters in bulk as hand-outs for students and whatnot. When he found out I was local to the area, we started talking about a possible contract position as a CCNA instructor. Fast-forward to last Saturday morning and there I was standing in front of a white board.

As shocking as it is that someone would let me teach a class, I was also invited to chime in on this week's episode of the Packet Pushers podcast hosted by Greg Ferro. The two more notable guests were Amy Arnold and Ethan Banks. We had fun discussing a number of topics - from Cisco product lead times to your child's potential future in IT - for just shy of an hour.

Posted in Random


Brandon Carroll
June 21, 2010 at 2:51 a.m. UTC

Hey Stretch!

I remember when I started teaching for a small training company in Woodland Hills, Ca. It was very interesting to say the least but once I had a taste of training I knew it's what I wanted to do. Hope you find much enjoyment in it.

I haven't heard the latest podcast, but Greg and Gang have been doing a FANTASTIC job and I really enjoy it. Looking forward to hearing your episode.

Take Care my Friend!

Brandon Carroll

June 21, 2010 at 4:39 a.m. UTC

Congratulation Stretch, good deeds do payoff!!

Chris Perkins
June 21, 2010 at 5:04 a.m. UTC

Good for you Stretch!

June 21, 2010 at 6:18 a.m. UTC

This is really great news Stretch. =) There is something very special about education--both from an instructor and student perspective. Enjoy!

June 21, 2010 at 7:51 a.m. UTC

Congratulations Stretch, I am very happy to hear that.. Wish you best luck :)

June 21, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. UTC


This made me smile as a similar thing happened to me some time ago. I was out of work and (long story short) I was invited to teach in a training company at CCNA level.

The first day was weird. The students had filed into the classroom and found their places and were chatting amongst themselves. I then called for their attention "Ladies and Gentlemen" - then suddenly saw a small sea of faces all looking expectantly at me! (gulp).

But as you say - it felt so natural. I really enjoyed the teaching. The class went well and I got a huge buzz when people were clearly happy because they were learning something.

It's a great thing to do, so well done and good luck for the future

June 21, 2010 at 1:37 p.m. UTC

Congrad Stretch!!

From reading your blog on this site I know you will be an excellent CCNA teacher, I wish I have someone as knowledge as you when I took my CCNA class long time ago. Maybe when you are teaching a higher level class, I will sign up.

June 21, 2010 at 2:03 p.m. UTC

Awesome news!

I listened to the podcast on my bus ride to work this morning, and got me thinking about whether my (future) kids will be geeks.

Considering I've been browsing through for gift ideas for other people's kids, I would have to say mine are doomed, and will be required to take a six-week course on computer safety and basic network troubleshooting before they are allowed to eat solid food.

June 21, 2010 at 2:13 p.m. UTC


Just be sure to teach them wrong so they don't steal any jobs I might want

June 21, 2010 at 3:56 p.m. UTC

Congrats on the teaching gig...I know I'm registered to take the CCNA in less than 3 weeks, and formal education (as opposed to just frantic reading) would have definitely been nice.

I'm listening to the podcast now; seems like you might have missed a good opportunity to promote the packetlife lab when the host was talking about a rise in the number of pay-for-use labs as a result of the Cisco licensing changes.

June 21, 2010 at 4:24 p.m. UTC

Nice of you to join us...we will definitely do it again.

June 21, 2010 at 6:48 p.m. UTC

Great news for you! I've been teaching linux at a local community college for years that is part of the Cisco Networking Academy. You should look in the DC area for colleges that are part of the Cisco Academy and try and get in with them. Most of the programs offer night and online classes that usually meet one day a week for a normal semester. This is good if you already have a full-time job and want to get more teaching experience on your resume.

June 21, 2010 at 7:31 p.m. UTC


Just to say thanks for joining the podcast, it was great. I did try to mention you lab but it might gotten lost in some editing, some of the show didn't record too well. We will have to get you back on to tell us more in the future.

Second half of the show to be released later in the week.


June 21, 2010 at 10:17 p.m. UTC

Congratulations stretch! Keep up the good work!

June 22, 2010 at 6:08 a.m. UTC

It's not about the knowledge that you have but the ability to dig and share this knowledge is what making you one of the best I've ever read. I know really lot of people who are quite good engineers yet they can't even explain what is IP and how it works. I'm sure that you shall doing this great and that's just a beginning... I'm expecting to read your book one day and I'll buy that book, definitely .. It will stand next to Jeff Doyle's on my shelf ;) And I'm not flattering you, I really mean it.

Good luck buddy, wish you all the best!

Kind regards, Dani

June 23, 2010 at 2:52 p.m. UTC

Thank you, everyone, for the words of support and encouragement! I already can't wait to start my next class. :)

June 29, 2010 at 7:18 p.m. UTC

Congratulations. I have the same oportunity to teach a CCNA class in 5 weeks. I certified 1 month ago. I wonder what material I can use to teach. I have Cisco Exploration PPT and Sybex.

Please if someone can help me for instructor material!!!

July 1, 2010 at 6:09 p.m. UTC

Excellent news! It's nice to see people who really understand the underlying technology teaching students. Unfortunately for me I learned from an instructor who was just sent to training for 2 weeks prior to teaching my class. It was very frustrating asking questions that could not be answered.

Comments have closed for this article due to its age.