Pockets of Awesomeness

If you only read the newspaper, watched the TV news, and listened to politicians, you’d think our schools are failing miserably and that we are not reaching our students in any of our subject areas, especially Computer Science.

I am here to say otherwise.

Now, I’m not an idiot(friends: do NOT respond to that), I get that there are some things we need to be doing differently in some areas and there are some schools that do need some new directions, but I am here to tell you that there is AWESOMENESS happening in our schools.

How do I know this?

Well, if you are an educator, then you likely take advantage of some much needed summer downtime to go to conferences and workshops to connect with colleagues and peers, hear some new ideas, share best practices, explore some new ways of thinking, learn something new and refreshing, and check out new technologies.

As a board member of CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association), I get to help with our annual conference and so have been in Omaha, Nebraska (by the way, a very cool place….I would have never have known that) for a few days interacting with fellow teachers from across the world. As with many conferences….there are a few days of great sessions, panels, and workshops to choose from. I have heard success stories, seen demonstrations, experimented with new technologies, shared email addresses, tried new products, and interacted with leaders in education.
There are several things in common with pretty much everyone I have interacted with here:
They are so excited to be here
They are so eager to connect with fellow CS educators
They are eager to give send you any materials, curriculum, or research that they have created
They are so interested in engaging with students in new and different ways
They are full of ideas and love to talk about them
They want to hear your ideas and help you brainstorm
They are eager to share successes (and yes, failures as well)
They are excited to show you how something works
They are more than happy to explain something to you
They are doing amazing things in their classrooms and schools
They are proud to be part of a huge movement called Computer Science…yes it is actually a movement as much as it is a discipline

So, there are over 700 educators at this conference, which means that there are hundreds of schools across the country and overseas that have awesome teachers, doing awesome things, with no other agenda than to educate the students in our schools.
So, instead of listening to news anchor tell you a story of some terrible situation at a school, find a real teacher that you know and ask him/her to tell you about some of the cool things they are doing in their classroom. But, make yourself comfortable…we teachers love to talk about our students.

About Doug Bergman

Head of Computer Science at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC
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