Each month this year, we will be highlighting one member of the CS for All Teachers community.
Name: Bobak Shafiei
Occupation: High school teacher
Workplace: DC Public Schools
Years in education: 7
Years teaching computer science: 4
What is your background in computer science?
I am completely self-taught. Mostly, I read books and worked on mini-projects, starting with HTML and a Geocities webpage back in the 90s and, most recently, Arduino micro controllers. Coaching the robotics club forced me to learn Java.
Describe the most favorite CS project you have completed with your students.
My favorite project would have to be coaching the robotics team. It was great seeing students come together to create and test solutions to the challenge.
As teachers, we try every day to inspire our students. When have you been inspired by your students?
I’m most inspired by the students who never give up and work through the setbacks. I had one student who was in tears when her program was full of bugs. She said “maybe I can’t be a programmer.” She vented to me for a few minutes and then went back to work fixing her code.
What excites you most about the current state of computer science education in the US?
CS education seems to be in its infancy, but growing. It’s exciting to see new tools, curricula, and ideas develop. I’m especially excited by the way in which creativity is being encouraged and CS is being viewed as more than just programming.
What is your favorite CS tool or resource?
Cloud 9 allows me to give students a full-fledged integrated development environment (IDE) in their browser, avoiding the need to install and update software. It also allows students to move seamlessly from computer to computer without worrying about copying files.
What do you do to recharge when times are rough?
I love to travel, and it helps to recharge me during breaks. “Sick” days are also useful.
What are you reading right now?
A book. Forgive my dry sense of humor (smile).
What do you enjoy most about participating in CS for All Teachers?
I enjoy connecting with other teachers and hearing about their classes, projects, and troubles.