TEALS Volunteer FAQ:
Is it open to
Yes, if you have a CS degree or equivalent industry experience and want to give back to the community by teaching high school CS. This is a problem that the entire tech industry has to come together and solve. Everyone can pitch in, regardless of who signs your paycheck.
Why so early in the
We specifically designed this so that you don’t have to give up your day job to teach CS. Class you teach will end ~9:15AM and give you plenty of time to get to work and still be the first software engineer in the office.
What’s the time
This is a big commitment, no way around that. Teaching is a high time commitment thing. This is not a weekend school yard clean up or a career day talk once a year, this is a yearlong program. We estimate ~300 hours a year including training, in-class time and prep / grading. You can teach the entire class by yourself with TAs or share it with another person also with TAs.
Do I need
certification or take education classes?
No, as long as you are willing to learn to teach high school CS, which leads to our next question.
What’s the deal with
We spend the summer to prepare you for teaching high school CS. There will be 10 1-2 hour weekly sessions, conducted after work (aka 530PM Pacific) and one weekend daylong session. There is a video conference option to everyone in the non-Seattle area. We will teach you the curriculum, class room management, pedagogy, and essentially all the basic stuff you need to run a great CS class. You will flesh out the curriculum with your team and make it your own with our support. The training is mandatory, if you’re not ready, we can’t put you in the classroom.
Intro CS is the first 10 weeks of the UC Berkeley CS 10 course using a graphical programming language, sort of like conceptual physics, more breadth than depth, but for CS. http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs10/sp12/.
AP is AP, and taught in Java. It’s a first semester college CS major course taught over a high school year. We use the University of Washington book. http://www.buildingjavaprograms.com/ http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/sub_compscia.html
What’s the difference
between a teacher and TA?
The lead teachers will do what a teacher does, prep, content, grading etc.. The TAs need to know the content, but do not do the lecture part of the course and help during lab time.
Will I be a part of a
Yes, for a 30 of students, we’d ideally want a 1 or 2 lead teachers who runs the class, and 2 TAs to support during lab. So a TEALS class will have 3-4 engineers. This helps with business trips, vacations, sick days.
Will there be a
certified teacher in the room?
Yes, the aim of TEALS is to teach the kids and at the same time train the in-service teacher so they are able to teach CS on their own in the future. You will learn from each other, and essentially have another member on the team.
How big are the
Intro is a semester long class that we run back to back. Usually in the mid to high 20s, but can be as high as low 30s.
AP can be anywhere from a dozen to low 30s.
Is there mentoring
during the school year?
You will be assigned a TEALS mentor who is an experienced (non-CS usually) classroom teacher. They will visit you in the classroom at least twice within the first 3 months to give you feedback. They will also do check ins with the team over the summer as well as during the school year.
We also run monthly training sessions during the school year on various teaching topics.
What kind of support
will I get during the school year to make my CS more awesome?
Plenty of swag support, class tshirts, a big raffle prize, candy…
We also do a college / career day talk as well as a field trip to a local tech company in the late Spring.
There is a TEALS forum that you can use to chat with other TEALS teachers.
I can haz a stipend?
Yes, the schools have set aside $5000 for the volunteers to offset their transportation costs, coffee, and speeding tickets.
You will sign a contract with the school so that you will get a school ID, parking spot, log in etc… Essentially adjunct faculty. You will obviously also need to pass a background check.
There is $4000 in the lead teacher pool and $1000 in the TA pool. TEALS does not see a single cent, nor do we want to.
If there is 1 lead teacher (teaching 4 days a week by themselves) and 2 TAs, the lead gets $4000, the TAs split the $1000 and get $500 each. If it’s 2 lead and 2 TAs, $2000 and $500 respectively.
What’s this remote
For schools without a pool of CS talent locally, we offer teaching remotely via Lync with screen sharing etc... You can see a video of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyqy7CDUbT0, because it is remote, we try to maintain a 10-1 student TEALS teacher / TA ratio. So for the same size class, the teams will be bigger.
application process like?
We will have an information session in your area, you go home, talk to your family, think about if this is the right program for you. If it is, submit your resume, and we then we will conduct interviews in your region between April and May. You will be placed in a school that fits you (and you fit the school obviously) based on geography, interest (AP / Intro), role (teacher / TA), and time commitment (4 days / 2 days a week). This is more of an art than an exact science. Had a pretty good track record so far.
What’s the timeline?
We will have a list of partner schools in mid-March. We will do various regional information sessions the rest of March and start interviews April. Everyone will be placed the last week of May and training starts 2nd week of June.