I am a founding music and STEM teacher at a brand new middle school in Lost Hills, CA. I also teach computer programming to grades 4-8 as part of after school programming. While our school has many challenges connected to being a new and growing college preparatory academy in a rural town of 2000 people, I also see so much potential demonstrated by my students and the other people in this community.
When I first arrived in August, I was surprised by my students' lack of computer literacy.
Since our area lacks infrastructure and the money found in most other parts of United States, almost 80 percent of my students do not have access to a computer or internet at home. Luckily, our school is a one-to-one campus, and all of our students have access to Chromebooks. It has been a personal mission of mine to improve the computer literacy of my students since it is an essential component of being able to communicate with the modern world and access professional opportunities.
I was recently informed of this professional development opportunity by my Teach for America Manager of Teacher Leadership Development, and as soon as I read about it, I knew I had to take part. While I have taught myself how to code and have built a few professional websites, I do not have formal training related to teaching coding to younger students.
As a dedicated educator, I am always looking to advance and improve in my skills and knowledge so that I can continue to facilitate meaningful, authentic experiences for our students.
I have no doubt that the Pathfinders Winter Institute 2020 in Rhode Island will build a base level of expertise that will lead to positive and lasting impacts for our school's STEM class for grades 7-8 and after-school computer programming classes for grades 4-8.
In addition, the relationships and network of like-minded professionals I will develop throughout the Pathfinders community will be priceless. I will gain more opportunities to collaborate with innovative teachers all over the world, leaving not just an immediate local impact, but serving the greater global community.
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