An Inspiring Job Listing
I have run into Tonya Edmonds at a few computer science teachers’ conference over the past two years. Tonya has a mater’s degree in computer science and is now teaching at the Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy, an urban magnet school. When we met last year, I was juggling adapting to the teacher lifestyle while creating curriculum for three new courses. Meanwhile, though Tonya was, like me, a first-year computer science teacher, she was not teaching any courses and was instead primarily focused on curriculum development. What an inspiration! She had both great ideas and the time to think through them to ensure their success when implemented.
Tonya has now paved the way for expansion of SciTech’s computer science program and they are hiring a second computing instructor to teach AP CS and a game programming course using Scratch. I think the job listing makes for a very interesting read. There’s a lot of general information about the school and its philosophical grounding. I don’t necessarily love everything in there but it’s incredibly informative and gives a good sense of what the school is about. Page 11 has a tentative schedule for the instructor which is the inspiring part. The entire first semester of this teacher’s time is to be dedicated to curriculum development. Second semester also includes an extra planning period for curriculum development and the second semesters of both the second and third teaching year include an extra planning period for curriculum revisions!
I haven’t seen many schools that offer their instructors dedicated time for creating curriculum and am curious to know how wide-spread that is. I wonder whether SciTech intends to continue this practice over time or if it’s something that they are doing to get their programs started. Regardless, it’s a terrific idea and I hope they find someone skilled and enthusiastic to take advantage of this opportunity.