Training and Support

Who should teach the course?

Teachers with any content background or level of experience who have an interest in teaching computer science are welcome. No knowledge or experience with computer science or programming is required. The UTeach Computer Science professional learning model is designed to leverage the knowledge and expertise of all community members to enhance the experiences and competencies of participating teachers. This includes teachers with diverse backgrounds and teaching experiences, trainers, curriculum designers, and a dedicated teacher support team. Because the curriculum is project-based, teachers who have experience with PBL or teaching more open-ended content tend to be particularly successful.

Professional Learning

Teachers interested in teaching UTeach CS Principles are encouraged to either attend a 5-day, in-person summer workshop or participate in a 6-week online professional learning course. Online courses are primarily asynchronous and hosted on a rotating basis for cohorts of about 25 teachers. Both options require a 40-hour commitment and focus on the following:

  • Familiarizing teachers with the comprehensive teacher materials and curriculum, often from the perspective of a student
  • Introducing teachers to the project-based approach necessary to teach the course successfully
  • Exploring background mathematics and computer science content in the context of course activities
  • College Board requirements and expectations for AP® implementation

Expectations of Participating Teachers

Before Training

  • Complete 2–3 hours of work to prepare
  • Complete a pre-workshop survey

During Training

  • Participate in 40 hours of training by attending an in-person workshop (summers only) OR completing an online professional learning course (offered on a rotating basis)
  • Participate in discussions and reflection, and complete assigned activities and projects from the perspective of a student
  • Complete a post-workshop survey

During the 2017–2018 School Year

  • Secure administrative approval to teach one or more sections of UTeach CS Principles
  • Contribute to the national teacher community by sharing resources and ideas with fellow teachers on our online forum
  • Work with the UTeach Computer Science team to collect a small set of data (e.g., demographics), as allowed by your district or school

Expectations of Participating Schools

  • Schedule one or more sections of UTeach CS Principles for 2017–2018
  • Cast a wide net in recruiting students, including actively encouraging young women and students of color to enroll

Year-Round Support

UTeach Computer Science offers comprehensive support on all aspects of implementation, including the curriculum and teacher materials, background computer science content, project-based pedagogical strategies, pacing, and technical issues and updates. The UTeach Computer Science team also helps connect teachers with peers and external resources. Mechanisms for support include the following:

  • Regular, remote video check-ins for teachers with questions or issues with implementation
  • Remote micro-workshops that serve as “just-in-time” refreshers for each upcoming unit
  • On-demand phone and email coaching and support, provided by two dedicated UTeach Computer Science teacher support specialists
  • An online community of practice, facilitated by the UTeach team, designed to answer questions, connect teachers, and encourage the sharing of resources and context-specific adaptations to the curriculum and materials

For information on professional learning opportunities, please check out the Register! page.