Posted: Thu, 10/17/2019 - 12:59
Each month, we highlight a member of the CS for All Teachers community.
Name: Myra Deister
Occupation: High School Computer Science and Mathematics Teacher
Workplace: Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, CA
Years in education: 40
Years teaching computer science: 30
TEACHING COMPUTER SCIENCE (CS)
What interests you about CS?
I wanted to offer computer science to the students at my school. I know it can help them with mathematical reasoning.
How did you start teaching CS? Do you have a background in CS?
I began working on a master’s degree in mathematics and it did not seem to be working out, so I decided to pursue a master’s degree in computer science instead. At the school where I was teaching, there were not computer science courses. I saw an opportunity in another district where I could teach computer science, so I applied for a job there and was hired.
How have your CS students inspired you? What is your favorite CS project you have completed with your students?
My computer science students have inspired me by their work ethic. We use the Media Computation curriculum (nicknamed MediaComp) by Mark Guzdial and Barb Ericson to teach AP computer science. The students flourish using that curriculum and their creativity just blows me away!
How do you recruit students into your CS classes?
Several years ago, I attended an Alice/Media Comp Workshop led by Barbara Ericson. She shared tailored recruitment letters she had written for boys and girls. This past year, I sent letters home to Algebra I and two-year Algebra program students because very few of the programs on my campus actively recruit these students. This process has helped to keep the enrollment in computer science stable. The Introduction to Computer Science class enrollment grew four times compared to the year before due to my recruitment efforts. Every year I receive phone calls from parents who are surprised that we offer computer science classes and are seeking more information.
CS EDUCATION COMMUNITY
How do you get other teachers, administrators, and community members excited about CS?
I applied to ISTE in my state, California Computer-Using Educators (CUE), to start a computer science learning network, to which they agreed. Through the two poster sessions I hosted at two large CUE-sponsored conferences, we have been able to inform members about the new California computer science standards and resources that are available.
What excites you most about the current state of CS education in the US?
That fact that it is exploding and states are now convening committees to write computer science standards for their states.
What do you enjoy most about participating in CS for All Teachers?
I appreciate the webinars that are offered and that, if I cannot attend the live presentation, I can view any webinar at a later time.
Besides the CS for All Teachers community of practice, what is your favorite CS tool or resource?
I love my CSTA chapter. That has been my go-to source for several years.
What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to potential CS educators?
Look for professional development opportunities to stay informed about what is coming to computer science.
TELL US MORE!
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
That last year one of my AP Computer Science students earned a perfect score on the AP exam. It was a first for my school.
Write a poem or haiku describing what teaching CS is like.
Students enter the computer lab
what will they make the computer do today?
What do you do to recharge after a long day (or week, month, year, etc.) of teaching?
I enjoy going for walks and counted cross stitch to reduce my stress levels.