Ria Galanos is a Computer Science teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va. She is also on the NCSSS Board of Directors.
As a computer science teacher, I know that the profession can feel a little isolating for teachers if they are the only CS teacher in their school. Even if they are lucky enough to be at a school with more than one CS teacher, it is common that they are teaching different courses than their peers.
We are always looking for ways to engage our students and show them how computing is an integral part of almost all fields today. Just when we think we have it figured out, a new language comes along or the next best way to teach beginners in computer science is discovered. Finding good professional development in our field is tough, since it is usually language- or level-specific, which can limit the choices in your geographic area. If your school will allow you to send teachers to conferences, then I recommend sending your CS teacher(s) to the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education’s (SIGCSE) Annual Conference to be held in Kansas City, Mo., from March 5-7, 2015.