Linda Roh is a member of the CSTA as well as the Nebraska Huskers chapter, and is currently serving as a Computer Science Honor Society (CSHS) Advisor at Lincoln East High School, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Linda Roh is a member of the CSTA as well as the Nebraska Huskers chapter, and is currently serving as a Computer Science Honor Society (CSHS) Advisor at Lincoln East High School, Lincoln, Nebraska. We recently reached out to her after a tweet from CSEdWeek caught our eye. In December, our Membership Experience Manager and Linda chatted about her experience in CS.
Can you tell me about your journey to teaching computer science?
I graduated from college in 1995 with a mathematics degree and a minor endorsement in CS. I taught Math for a couple of years before stepping away from teaching to stay at home with my three children. I recently came back to full-time teaching about seven years ago. I was approached by a colleague two years ago about teaching CS in our school. I am currently in my second year of teaching CS and have 4 AP CS classes, and one math class. It is really exciting to see the CS program grow, and the level of interest our students have. It has also been a huge help to see our school district support our CS program.
Can you talk about your Computer Science Honor Society (CSHS)?
Last year, I started a computer science club, but struggled getting it started due to student interest. This year I decided to take on a CSHS through CSTA, and had an overwhelming response from the students. During our Hour of Code community event, CSHS inducted 64 students. Members were required to maintain at least a B average in CS courses, and had to have completed the second level of robotics or an AP CS class. Students also had to be in good standing with the school community. Because we are strategically placed in the Silicon Prairie, there are real life resources to draw from in our business and education communities. Our district goal in CS is to be 50/50(male/female) by 2020. We have made huge strides, but still have more work to do.
District support for CS is varied across the country, can you talk about your experience with your school district?
Our district is very supportive. In one more year, we will be in a position where every student, K-8 will have an opportunity to take CS. Our district holds several events to promote CS including the Hour of Code. At my high school, we ran an all day event where over 1,100 students spent an hour coding. I overheard one student mention her view of computer science had changed after observing all the different people involved in the CSHS. We then held an evening event open to the community where we targeted our feeder schools using flyers and school websites. At that event we had 150 participants engaging in Hour of Code activities. We also used that time to introduce and induct our 64 CSHS members. We invited a university student to share her CS story with the group. She was able to inspire and encourage those in attendance to learn something new, and get involved in CS.
I see you are part of the CSTA Nebraska Chapter, Can you tell me what’s currently going on in your chapter and some successes and challenges you are facing? How did you get involved with CSTA?
I got involved with CSTA when I was sponsored two years ago to attend the CSTA Annual Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. That conference left me inspired. I went to the 2019 Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, and was encouraged as I felt like I could give back to newer CS teachers, with a year of experience under my belt. The CSTA Huskers chapter currently runs events for those students K-8, however, they are currently seeking new ways to involve high school students and teacher.
Would you like to share anything else with CSTA+ members?
The biggest thing is to continue to be passionate about learning for yourself. You can begin that journey of knowledge and tomorrow you might be an expert. Take things one step at a time, there is so much knowledge out there in CS to gain. Embrace being the lead learner, and be OK with students knowing more in certain areas than you do.