On the days I miss the classroom most I think about the energy that would build during a lesson that was really working. Students diving right into a project, actively checking in with each other, and the most amazing moments when I’d have to pry them away from their computers at the end of the period.
On the days I miss the classroom most I think about the energy that would build during a lesson that was really working. Students diving right into a project, actively checking in with each other, and the most amazing moments when I’d have to pry them away from their computers at the end of the period. One of those lessons could get me through a month of the more usual experience, especially during the long cold winter months in Chicago. I’ve been reflecting on those moments recently, and specifically how much they were built on us all being in a room, working together, getting into a rhythm, and developing a working style together over time. Those moments obviously don’t look the same anymore, and all of us (in or out of the classroom) need to find new ways to sustain our souls in the new normal. This is why I’ve drawn so much energy from the moments when I’ve been able to connect virtually with CSTA members this winter. First at the Future of CS Summit digging into the cutting edge of CS education with over 400 attendees to our first ever Mid Year Chapter Leadership Summit, where our incredible chapter leaders planned for ways they will bring the CS community together in their regions.
Throughout the rest of the year, we are committed to supporting more ways to create community and connection, while also deepening practice as computer science teachers. The current cohort of Equity Fellows is hosting their inaugural Equity in Action Summit on March 6, with over 30 sessions to support teachers across all grade levels, and amazing keynote talks from Alison Scott and Kamau Bobb. Beyond just the event, all attendees will be among the very first to access CSTA’s new virtual communities, a teacher-led space for building connections, generating new ideas, and remembering that even though we’re unable to come together in person this year, we’re still part of an 18,000 strong community of computer science teachers ready to learn together.
In fact, I’m already humbled by the creative ways that CSTA members and chapters engaged in professional learning this year. Since the start of the school year, over 2,000 people have taken part in professional learning and community building directly with CSTA, from attending one of our summits to joining a monthly professional learning series (register for the next one here). On top of that our 92 chapters rallied to build their local communities, holding nearly 300 local events already this year, including an all virtual CSTA New England Summit, virtual CSPDWeek events from Arizona to South Carolina, and CSTA’s first-ever chapter meeting outside of North America with the founding of CSTA Philippines.
The truth is that all of this is only possible thanks to the incredible work of CSTA members. Teaching is hard. Teaching computer science is even harder. What we’re doing now, from online classrooms to hybrid learning to building plastic dividers on desks is a whole new ballgame. The fact that on top of all the added expectations of this year you’d take the time and effort to give something back to this community is a testament to its value. Thank you for all that you do, and for the time, talent, and dedication you bring to CSTA.