Each month this year, we will be highlighting one member of the CS for All Teachers community.
Name: Kimberly Clark
Occupation: K-12 Learning Specialist
Workplace: Technology and Innovation in Education
Years in education: 25
Years teaching computer science: 2
What interests you about computer science?
Every student can engage in computer science at whatever level they are. Computer science integrates several content areas and it encompasses the thinking skills that we want our students to apply. Among students, it is a high interest subject, and when you see the students totally immersed in something, you cannot help but be interested in it.
How did you start teaching computer science? Do you have a background in CS?
Our state had limited computer science professional learning for educators. In 2016, I applied for and was accepted to be a CS Fundamentals facilitator. I have no previous background. I knew that to support our state, I needed to learn and be a leader in computer science.
How have your computer science students inspired you? What is your favorite CS project you have completed with your students?
The energy of the students and their engagement is contagious. They totally get into what they are doing, and you see problem solving, persistence, and lots of communicating going on when they are working.
How do you recruit students into your CS classes?
Currently, I don’t directly recruit students. I support schools/districts with the information they need to recruit.
CS EDUCATION COMMUNITY
How do you get other teachers, administrators, and community members excited about computer science?
I try to demonstrate computer science resources whenever I can. That includes volunteering in classrooms with Hour of Code, leading family code nights, speaking at statewide conferences, and providing CS workshops to schools and districts. Of course, social media lets me talk about computer science, as well as share information and research.
What excites you most about the current state of computer science education in the US?
As a nation, we are realizing the importance of computer science and of providing an opportunity for every K-12 student to learn computer science.
What do you enjoy most about participating in CS for All Teachers?
Since I am fairly new to CS, I like the updates, idea sharing, and resources.
Besides the CS for All Teachers community of practice, what is your favorite CS tool or resource?
As an International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) member, I utilize the research, updates, and free webinars on anything CS.
What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to potential CS educators?
Don’t be afraid to jump in at whatever your level. Computer science education is not going away. Our students deserve to be prepared, they want to learn CS, and we owe it to them to support them at every level.
TELL US MORE!
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
I was chosen to be on the LearnZillion dream team and write math curriculum at a national level.
Write a poem or haiku describing what teaching CS is like.
Yes, CS for all.
It’s more than coding.
What do you do to recharge after a long day (or week, month, year, etc.) of teaching?
Recharging for me is to never stop learning. So, that means a lot of firsts and adventures.