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C'est la Z

It’s teacher appreciation week again

It's teacher appreciation week again so I thought I'd show some appreciation.

In the past, I've specifically written about some of the teachers who were particularly influential on me growing up. I've also written about how I'm not a huge fan of teacher appreciation week as a whole. Today, I wanted to talk about colleagues who deserve more appreciation from their students and schools than they might be getting. Now, this isn't to say that they're not getting the love but I wanted to add my two cents to make sure.

First, my partners in crime from my days at Stuy. People like JonAlf Dyrland-Weaver, Sam Konstantinovich, and Topher Mykolyk. Not only are they great teachers but whenever I've had a project that benefited either kids or other teachers, they've gone above and beyond. Those three were instrumental in helping build and run my teacher certification program at Hunter college. They were way underpaid, way overworked, and in some (but not) cases, underappreciated by some of the students. Most of the students in the program were great but the third cohort, if I'm to be honest, had a few, let's say, challenging participants and I'll always appreciated my big three for working through and providing the best experience possible for the majority of students.

Now, I also had a number of other great teacher colleagues through the years and I do appreciate them but I wanted to single out DW, Mr K, and Topher (why am I blanking on what the kids call him now?).

The other teachers I wanted to single out today are the teachers who went through my certification program. We had 20 in the first cohort, 20 more int he second, then 60 in the third. The program continues on under the expert guidance of my friend and former student Edgar Troudt but I'm focusing on the three cohorts I worked with.

Yes, all my advanced cert teachers received scholerships to cover tuition but they all decided to give up a summer and spend all day every day in July with me and my motley crew to learn more CS and how to teach it. They then spent the following school year taking courses as well as recording their classes, remote observing their fellow CS teachers and in general supporting each other as they all worked to be the best teachers and the best CS teachers they could become. They worked hard and learned a lot. The teachers who participated who came in with less CS content experience spent countless out of class hours with classmates, TAs and instructors to develop their skills.

As it turned out, with the State's SOCE, it turns out that some, maybe even most of these teachers didn't and might not need the actual certification but they all took it upon themselves to work on improving their content knowledge and their refining their pedagogical techniques so they could be the best version of themselves for their students. It's also worth noting that they all elected to take on my program which I feel is pretty rigorous. At the time, we were the only game in town but if they decided to enroll in a certification program now, they'd have the option of rigorous programs, like mine and a couple of others or by taking one of the less rigorous programs that have since been approved by the state which barely cover any legit CS.

I don't know if their students really know or appreciate that these teachers have really gone above and beyond for them and I'm sure will continue to do so.

So, hat's off to them. A bunch of great teachers super worthy of appreciation. Not just this week but throughout the year.

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