There are a number of unique opportunities for teaching computer science in K – 12 classrooms. In addition to being able to work with coding, computers, and technology on a daily basis, these professional opportunities are also rewarding and return high personal satisfaction. When looking for available opportunities for teaching computer science from the elementary to the secondary level, there are a few things to take into consideration.
What Is Computer Science?
Computer science knowledge and skill goes beyond general computer literacy. In other words, it is more than learning how to type and use popular software programs on a desktop or laptop. Instead, computer science is focused on building the software and hardware needed in order to perform those functions and more. Coding, innovation, creativity, and other skills are built by students studying computer science.
Many professionals in various technology fields and educational experts believe that increasing elementary, middle, and high school students access to computer science curriculum will be beneficial for the students and the workforce in general. In order to do that, there must be qualified, educated professionals to teach students how to build the programs and devices to create innovative technology today and in the future.
Educating in the Classroom
The first set of opportunities to teach children K – 12 in computer science is in the traditional classroom. Teachers are needed in public, charter, and private schools around the country. The different types of schools gives future prospective computer science teachers some options for what type of education, certification, and/or licensing to obtain.
In most public school districts, teachers will be required to hold a degree in education with majors and minors in a particular subject area as well as the appropriate state licensing in order to teach in a classroom. Most states have licensing programs designed to certify teachers for either K through 6th grade classrooms or 7th grade through 12th grade classrooms. Charter schools typically have the same requirements.
Although public and charter schools typically require licensing by individual state, many states have subject areas where qualified candidates are not required to hold a teaching certificate in order to teach in the classroom. These subjects typically are in areas such as computer science. Additionally, most private schools are not required by law to hire teachers who have a teaching certificate or state license.
For additional information on teaching computer science in classrooms, visit the National Center for Women and Information Technology website.
Opportunities to work with private organizations, community agencies, and after-school programs are also available for anyone interested in teaching computer science to children in the K to 12 range. From local college and university summer camps to non-profit agencies that work to promote technology in learning, positions are open for qualified professionals to act as mentors and teachers to teach coding and other areas of computer science.
Whether searching for a traditional teaching role in an elementary classroom or looking to work with graduating high school seniors to direct a career path, there is a need for teaching computer science in K – 12 age groups throughout the United States.