What are you doing this year?

What are you doing this year?

At the start of the year all educators like to refresh materials, think about what else we could use to teach our content and figure out new ways to engage and challenge our students. We do this to “turn on a light” in a student. We can all think back to that teacher who was the reason we looked forward to the school day, the teacher who made us smile, connected with us, and made us want to learn more. As this year starts I challenge you to be “that teacher” for your students. Be the teacher who teaches differently and diversely. Grow yourself by learning different pedagogy and methodology that can lead to more enriched classes and better student achievement.

So all this sounds great but you are thinking – HOW do I do all of that and do everything else my school requires me to do?  My answer – by connecting with other CS educators.  Teachers who do the best normally have a cohort of other teachers they work with, bounce ideas off of, and work through problems with. Teachers are not islands and sharing strategies allows us to become better teachers. CSTA is your best resource for finding a cohort or a connection of other CS educators.

Did you get some great ideas at the CSTA Annual Conference this summer and meet new people? If so, email them and ask what they are teaching and doing. Offer to share projects and ideas. If you missed the conference or want a refresher on what you saw check the CSTA Conference page for the presenters material. Past years are already available and the 2015 will be available soon. Presenters are always willing to answer questions and help you if you are trying something they presented.

Are you looking for people who are near you or a group of CS teachers to work with? There may be people in your area you can collaborate with. Check out the Chapters page. Or are you just looking for other resources right now? You can check out the Podcasts page, the CSTA Voice pagePD Videos page, or search through the blog for posts you may have missed.  All of the authors and/or presenters are approachable and are willing to connect with other CS educators.

So this year make it your goal to grow yourself, try something new and engaging, make connections with other CS educators, and most importantly do all of this to turn on the lights in your students. Show them the wonderment of CS and be the reason they want to come to school.

Stephanie Hoeppner

CSTA Board Representative