I'm super proud to say that New York City now has state certified Computer Science Teachers!!!!!!
It's been a long road - really long if you consider I got started on my CS Ed journey decades ago and there's a long road ahead but we hit a major milestone.
I started at Hunter a little over five years ago and creating teacher certification programs was one of the goals. Back then, the state had neither CS certification nor CS standards. The certification area was created a year or so ago and the standards were just adopted this past December. Hunter's programs were approved December 2019 and we started our first advanced certificate cohort last summer.
Twenty one working teachers, all certified in another subject area. They spent a big chunk of their summer with us all day every day and continued on with classes and field work in the Fall. Many finished last December while a few needed one more course which they're taking now. Earlier today on our Slack, teachers from that cohort started sharing that they either received their state certificates in the mail or that they looked themselves up on the NYSED web site and confirmed that they were now certified to teach computer science in the state of NY.
This is big news.
The entire cohort came in as strong teachers and they all grew tremendously in terms of CS knowledge and their ability to teach it. Now they represent the first of a growing group of certified CS teachers - education leaders to provide a core of expertise in terms of both CS content and how to teach it.
I'm super proud of the cohort and super proud to be part of this. One of the best parts for me have been meeting and working with these great teachers and having this new learning network form - hopefully we can keep it growing for years to come. Another is being able to get the band back together - I was able to bring in my old partners in crime JonAlf and Topher to teach and anyone who's seen them teach know that they're the best. I couldn't include our other co-conspirator, Sam, because he was on sabbatical and couldn't work but hopefully that will change next time around. Not having a team at Hunter has been really one of the few downsides so being able to work with my "go to guys" again was a blast.
We also have our Masters program well underway so the pipeline of CS teachers is starting to form.
This is exciting news for New York City, Hunter and for me personally. Long road ahead but as of today, a bunch of students in NYC are being taught by state certified computer science teachers and there will be more to come.