I spent this past Saturday morning up at the Microsoft building in Times Square. What was I doing there? Aankit Patel invited me to check out the professional development that he and his team organized for the teachers involved in the assorted CSforAllNYC programs that his office runs.
Lots of great things going on. I was only able to stay for a couple of hours but I spent some time in two rooms run by TEALS, a room of BJC teachers, a group working with p5.js, one doing physical computing and a bunch more.
While there was good content all around I was really impressed with the sense of community in many of the rooms. One of the hardest parts of being a computer science teacher in K12 is that you're frequently the only CS teacher in your school. That can be an awfully lonely existence. It's hard to be the only teacher. No one to bounce lesson ideas off of or to debrief with and if you leave your school they're left in the lurch.
It's simply amazing that all these NYC teachers have opportunities like this past weekends PD and the communty it provides.
On the other hand, teachers who are not part of city programs like SEP or TEALS don't have these opportunities and at Hunter we're trying to do our piece to help solve that problem.
A few months ago I wrote about our plans to roll out once a month professional development sessions for CTLE hours specifically aimed at teachers who are ready for the next step. Those who are already comfortable with the first courses and student experiences. I'm describing the sessions as being for high school teachers teaching APCS-A, similar or beyond.
Were hosting our first session on December 13th. There will be a couple of presentations or activities to get us started but the bulk of the time will be about planning the rest of the sessions which will run until the end of the school year and the hope is that we will cover both content beyond the basics.
So, if you're a public school CS teacher in NYC (and need CTLE hours) and you're ready for something more advanced than the usual PD opportunities, why don't you join us. Just sign up here. Space is limited so if we fill, we'll add you to the waitlist and we'll work on trying to find a bigger space to acomodate more teachers.
Looking forward to getting this thing started!!!!