The 2015 CSTA Board of Directors Elections will run from April 2, 2015 to May 4, 2015. Below are blog posts from our 9-12 Board Representative Nominees. The CSTA 9-12 Board Representative is a 9–12 classroom teacher who is currently teaching computer science at the high school level.
Candidate personal statements and Q&A responses can be found at http://csta.acm.org/About/sub/AboutFiles/2015Election.html.
Teaching in a Growing Field
Course registration numbers are in and the news is great! I’ve got a record number of people who have signed up for computer science courses, more than I can actually handle. It is a great problem to have but how does a department grow beyond the number of teachers available?
The shortage of qualified computer science teachers has been well documented here and elsewhere but what exactly does an existing CS teacher need? Do I need an apprentice, someone who teaches math or business that would be interested in learning to teach computer science? Do I need someone who has experience teaching computer science? The numbers really don’t justify a second full-time computer science teacher so I don’t know that bringing in a CS veteran is possible.
I’ve been working with our counselors to see if there are students who might be better prepared for CS in a year, after they’ve had more math and in the case of freshmen, acclimated to high school. Deferring them to buy time and to see how things shake out. I don’t like it. I want to work with all these willing students and I don’t want to risk losing them if they change their interests over the course of the year. At the same time, options are limited and in systems with finite resources, difficult decisions must be made.
I think that CSTA and other organizations have done a good job of showing schools how to get started. What courses to offer, how to begin finding qualified and willing teachers, recruiting students, and building a successful program. I would like to see a model for growth to help schools and districts find the most optimal path forward. I think this is a problem that will be affecting more and more schools across the country and I think CSTA is in a position to be a leader in creating solutions. What a fantastic problem to have.
9-12 Board Representative
Stephanie Hoeppner, 9-12 Board Representative
I am passionate about computer science education and have been for 16 years. My efforts first started at our State Technology conference where a colleague and I presented on how to add computer science to your school district. That was over 12 years ago and I have continued the fight as a Ohio Cohort Leader (now called CSALT) advocating for CS, as an Ohio Chapter Founder and Leader, providing professional development and continuing to coordinate presentations at the State Conference, and most recently as a 9-12 Representative on the CSTA Board working on the Research committee, Chapter committee, and the Publications Committee. I enjoy working with the other CS leaders in advocating, supporting and providing resources for other CS teachers.