It was the summer of 1997 when I first walked onto the St. Martin’s campus. We were looking for a Kindergarten for our oldest daughter and we just felt that St. Martin’s was the right choice. The campus was lovely and the staff was warm and welcoming. A few years later, our younger daughter joined her sister at St. Martin’s.
The years went by and in 2007, as my younger daughter was getting ready to start Middle School at St. Martin’s, the Computer Teacher resigned. The principal asked me if I would consider helping out with the computer classes and I started as the Tech Teacher at St. Martin’s in the fall of 2007. When I started teaching at St. Martin’s, the curriculum was keyboarding and computer applications along with curriculum related games for the younger grades. As a former Computer Programmer, I wondered if it would be possible to add some programming to the curriculum and I went in search of resources and standards for this. I found the CSTA Standards (the 2011 version) and in the spring of 2012 began adding Computer Science to the curriculum at St. Martin’s.
This started my journey as a CS Educator and it’s been an amazing one. I was one of the 2017 CSTA Standards writers and have been on the CSTA Board of Directors as a K-8 Teacher Representative. I am currently one of the writers for the Standards for CS Educators and am a member of the working group for AI4K12 and I help to moderate #csk8 Twitter chats. But … is it over?
On Friday, it was announced that St. Martin’s will not be opening this fall. Our enrollment has been declining in recent years and it is no longer possible to keep the school open. For the past 12 years, I have been a technology teacher and for the past 7 years, I have been a CS teacher. But, just like that … it’s over and I wonder, who am I now and what will I do?
I’m one of the lucky ones though. I can take the time to think about what I want to do and then make a decision. I worry about my colleagues who may not have that luxury. Will they be able to find a job for this school year and if not, will they be okay?
I’m sad that I won’t get to welcome our students back to school and watch them grow during their years at St. Martin’s. It has been amazing to see this happen during my time at the school. I will miss seeing the 8th graders in their caps and gowns seeming all grown up and ready to take their next steps into high school. I was looking forward to adding some AI activities into computer science this year and was hoping to bring back the Middle School physical computing showcase at the end of the year. I’m disappointed that won’t happen. Most importantly though, I hope that our students find schools where they can flourish and I have my fingers crossed that wherever they end up will teach computer science.