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Google Office GDE Alice Keeler on balancing obligations and utilizing coding as self-care


Posted by Janelle Kuhlman, Developer Relations Program Supervisor

Photo of GDE Alice Keeler smiling. She has blonde hair and is wearing a violet top. Her image is next to the GDE logo

The primary of two interviews with GDEs about psychological well being, throughout Psychological Well being Consciousness Month

“I don’t suppose I’ve work-life steadiness,” says Google Office GDE Alice Keeler. “I may use some. I’m not excellent at self-care, both…my thought of a great time is coding.”

Alice could also be humble, however she juggles quite a few obligations efficiently. Along with her freelance programming work and the books she has revealed, she has 5 kids, all of whom have numerous psychological well being challenges. An educator identified for publishing add-ons, schedulers, and Google Classroom ideas, Alice teaches math to highschool seniors. She says additionally they battle with psychological well being, usually because of poverty and household points.

“I see firsthand as an employer, mother, and instructor how psychological well being challenges have an effect on folks, but we count on everybody to suck it up and go to work, attend faculty, and reply to household occasions,” she says. “I’ve actually been fascinated about this rather a lot, as I see the challenges my household and college students are going via. I attempt to supply a lot of grace and adaptability to others.”

She factors out that psychological well being could be very private. “Of the 20 folks I really feel closest to in my life, nobody answer would work for all of them,” she says.

Coding as self-care

In Alice’s expertise, tech has offered a way of self-care, skilled alternative, and educational help. “I feel one of many advantages of coding is that it doesn’t essentially must be executed at a sure time and might supply some versatile inventive choices for folks,” she says. “I can code at 3am, and nobody cares. It’s not very social, which is useful for individuals who battle with social expectations.”

And through these coding classes, Keeler builds inventive options.

“You may make actually cool issues,” she says. “After I clear up an issue with ten traces of code, it’s a pleasant manner for me to really feel valued.”

Alice has discovered the GDE group to be tremendously supportive, though at first, she frightened nobody would need to hear from her.

“I put up within the GDE chat, and other people reply with, ‘Alice!’,” she says. “I train math; I’m not a full-time coder. I’m self taught; every little thing I do, I determine myself. I don’t really feel like an imposter anymore. I’ve gotten 14 add-ons accepted.”

She has realized over time that even “specialists” are nonetheless studying.

“You suppose everybody is aware of every little thing, however they don’t, and other people could also be thought of specialists, however you may put one thing on the market they hadn’t even considered,” she says. “You understand rapidly that it’s not like a tower, and also you’ve reached the highest, it’s extra like scattered LEGOs: I do know a few of this, and a few of that, and you recognize this, and it’s scattered.”

Alice’s coding experience grew out of her need to create technological options for herself and different academics that simplified their processes and diminished stress. She’s enthusiastic in regards to the instructional expertise instruments that assist each academics and college students lower stress and enhance well-being.

Instructional expertise for improved well-being

Alice appreciates classroom expertise that makes life simpler for academics and college students. For instance, she cites the pill as “probably the greatest issues that ever occurred to particular schooling,” as a result of it offers college students with studying challenges another approach to share their ideas and exhibit their understanding of educational materials. Alice explains that tablets and Chromebooks make it simple to offer college students further time on assignments and assessments when wanted.

“It introduced in an unlimited quantity of inclusivity that had been unattainable,” she says. “It actually provides some children a voice; they will submit questions and responses digitally, with out elevating their arms.”

Alice’s focus, as an educator, developer, and mother or father, is on utilizing expertise to streamline duties and steadiness accountability, which reduces stress, improves well-being, and advantages her psychological well being. Throughout the pandemic, she appreciated how expertise allowed her to show on-line, write code, and in addition be current for her household. She had extra time to go to her children’ occasions and was in a position to dial down her stress. Like all of us, she’s nonetheless determining what comes subsequent, however she’s dedicated to supporting her family members and college students.

Be taught extra about Alice on her web site or on Twitter @alicekeeler



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