Friday, June 08, 2018

Computer Science Teacher as Unicorn

imageThe t-shirt image here showed up on my Facebook feed the other day.  My first thought was “Yes, computer teachers are the coolest.” Of course I know a lot of teachers who teach other subjects who are every bit as exciting as any computer science teacher but there is another thought here.

Unicorns are both magical and rare. I would argue that all good teachers have a bit of magic to them. Computer science teachers are more rare though. And frankly, computer science feels a lot like magic to a lot of people.

Today is the last day with students at my school and what I’m thinking about is “did I make magic this year?” and “how can I make more magic next year?” Maybe being the unicorn is the goal.


Mike Zamansky said...

This shirt bothered me.

There are both great and lousy CS teachers just as there are great and lousy teachers of all subject areas.

Alfred Thompson said...

Yeah, but I'm awesome!

Mr C said...

I love you assessment criteria: “did I make magic this year?” and “how can I make more magic next year?”

I saw a shirt this week in my feed: "World's Most Average Programmer" As I thought about it, my opinion shifted...
At first, I felt bad for someone wanting to label themselves as just 'average.'
Then, I thought maybe I should wear that while teaching to dissuade students from thinking I have special coding powers.
Lastly, even an 'average programmer' has awesome ability. In this case, average is a good goal (at first)!

Garth said...

Every year I look at my year of teaching CS and rate my year. This year was a B-. In my best year I was only a B. How would I ever get to be an A teacher? A lot more CS background (which because of that pesky teaching job I cannot get) and a year or two spent teaching with an experienced A class CS teaching team (there are no experienced CS teaching teams in Montana. Heck, there are hardly any experienced CS teachers in Montana.). I look at many of the CS teachers in Montana and I would rate them as a C or D so I am sort of happy with my self-rated B. I do not deserve a unicorn. I would be more a My Little Pony.

Every year I do make improvements to myself and my courses but every year I seem to get smarter and more knowledgeable students that make that A rating harder to reach. If I ever think I have reached that A rating I know it will be time to retire because I will have become delusional.