Learn more about what our Beta and CMA computer science teachers have been planning for the 19-20 school year!
Computer Science @ Caliber Schools :
All students participate in computer programming, with daily computer science, engineering, and robotics classes designed to teach fluency in computing. These highly engaging blocks teach students a variety of important skills including logic, narrative, attention to detail, perseverance and collaboration
A recent interview with a few of the computer science teachers:
What is your favorite thing about being a computer science teacher?
Marcus Morales: " I feel like the thing we are doing in class is setting up the 5 year olds for a computer science class later on. I want to build out their auxiliary skill and the base for students to be ready for other computer classes in the future!”
Joyce Aidi: " My favorite thing about being a middle school computer science teacher is being able to spark an interest in computational thinking and fostering confidence in exploring the subject."
Michelle Garcia: " I love being able to show students that they CAN apply all of the skills and knowledge they have gained in their classes, to think, plan, and follow up on passion projects that utilize technology! I also, low key, love the celebrity status that comes with being the 'cool teacher.' hahahahaha”
Keyauna Morris: “I have always loved computers. I started on dial up internet and evolved with technology as it continues to do today. I didn’t have a class that taught me about digital citizenship, hackers and other internet tools that are definitely important to know, especially in today’s technology generation.”
Why is it important for students to have access to computer science classes?
Marcus: “I know that a number of my students don't have access to tech at home and the students that do, are able to use this tech as a tool to get what they are looking for. On a large scale students who have access will inherently find what they want or need. Caliber gives students access to tech and puts them at a level where they are competent with tech and not make then feel like this is a roadblock or something that gives them anxiety! They are ready to thrive after they leave our school.”
Joyce: “Equity of access and training in computer science is important for all students because the skills they learn can create career opportunities in an ever changing technological market.”
Michelle: “Education has been based on the socioeconomic status of the families within districts for FAR TOO LONG. In so many ways, our class provides students with flexible creative thinking skills and technology that allows then to find creative outlets or possible professional goals they might not have otherwise been exposed to!”
Keyauna: "Students today are growing up on technology, so it is important they are inspired to be safe and responsible internet users. We are also teaching students how to use their devices as tools to support them on their learning journey."
Tell me more about the project you have been working on with DSX and the other comp sci teachers?
Marcus: “We have been focusing on our goals values and what we want students to walk away with after they leave Caliber. The fun part is coming together and having community, we have been sharing and venting to each other, commiserating over difficulties. We have built a place that we all look forward to going to after a full work week. I looked forward to it every other week that we have it. DSX are the people leading the sessions and they enabled us to get all of our ideas together and organized and built into something productive.”
Joyce: “I had the amazing opportunity to collaborate with DSX and the CMA computer science team to develop a computer science mission statement and graduate profile that defined what skills will be developed at each grade level. I am very proud to be part of a cohesive and talented team that's dedicated to fostering design thinking and computer literacy.”
Michelle: “ DSX has been amazing to work with. We have spent this last year searching within ourselves through equity-based activities to create and solidify a united Caliber Computer Science Program! We canvased with administration, asked parents their hopes and dreams for their children, and even asked students to think of what a "Caliber Computer Scientist" looks like. With the first iteration of our Mission, Vision, and Graduate Profile successfully completed, we are excited to continue working alongside DSX and stakeholders to continue work on our program!”
Keyauna: “This past school year we have been working on a graduate profile so we can keep our lessons purposeful and engaging. We noticed many students didn’t value our class as a real class so we are hoping to change that perspective and students will find this knowledge useful in other classes and the real world.”
What is one thing that you are excited about for next year?
Marcus: “Every year I chose one focus point and it’s important to me to set that intention and have a clear place for my new efforts. I want to reach out to parent volunteers. I want to get more adults in the room and have adults running the centers. It will bring a different feel to the place and will be a little less student driven, but my kindergarteners probably can’t run all this on their own. I want to build a community of people in this space and make a community center.”
Joyce: “ I'm super excited about starting a strong full year with my students and incorporating hardware skills along with their programming and software training. I'm hoping to incorporate guest speakers to expose students to real professionals in the field."
Michelle: “Creating curriculum alongside teachers, students, parents, and DSX! We in the CS program can't WAIT to see what students come up with! There are also BIG projects happening all around the CMA campus that will be SO MUCH FUN! I'm sure I will also miss the students so much at that point, that I'll be so excited to see them as well!”
Keyauna: “I’m excited that I actually know all 200+ of my students now so it will be a smoother process of managing my classes and knowing what my students need. I feel a lot more prepared with the collaboration with my fellow computer science team."
What is one fun fact that most people don’t know about you?
Marcus: “I started playing chess and soccer when I was 3 years old!”
Joyce: “I worked as a test driver and operations specialist for Waymo, Google's self driving car company. It was an amazing opportunity to see innovation in action.”
Michelle: “I am Cuban! I was born and raised in Miami and my Grandparents from both sides fled after the Communist takeover of the country in 1959. I grew up in Miami until we moved to the massive culture shock that was NC my senior year of high school. I've lived a few places since then, but nowhere has felt as much like home as California!”
Keyauna: “My first introduction to social media was MySpace, back in 2006. I was only in 6th grade so my mom was super upset when she found out I had one until she saw how creative I was on there. I would edit all of my friends pages and pictures and I taught myself coding and other computer skills by practicing.”