Microsoft Facilitates Computer Science Education in High Schools Through Volunteers

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Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative for education has many, many branches, but one of the most interesting to me is the TEALS program, which helps high schools be able to offer computer science classes.

What Is TEALS?

TEALS (Technology Education And Literacy in Schools) is a grassroots program that recruits, trains, mentors, and places high-tech professionals from across the country who are passionate about computer science education into high school classes as volunteer teachers in a team teaching model where the school district is unable to meet their students’ computer science (CS) needs on its own.

TEALS works with committed partner schools and classroom teachers to eventually hand off the CS courses to the classroom teachers. The school will then be able to maintain and grow a sustainable CS program on their own.

The way I understand it, TEALS is a program wherein computer scientists and programmers volunteer at a school for a couple of years with a math, science, or computer teacher (or anyone with a computer science background) to train them to teach computer science as a class in their school. Generally, for the first year, the local teacher shadows the volunteer, and for the second year, the volunteer monitors the local teacher’s efforts in teaching the class on their own.

Photo: TEALS
Photo: TEALS

It’s a great way to give back to your community while making sure the students in your area have computer science classes available to them in high school. Apparently most high schools don’t even offer computer science classes, but in today’s Information Age, computer literacy is more important than ever.

To learn more about the program, visit the TEALS website. If you are interested in volunteering, there are plenty of information sessions, a volunteer guide, an FAQ, and a list of what is expected of volunteers at the TEALS volunteer site.

I know a lot of our readers are in computer science careers or have a computer science background. Consider giving back to your community or a nearby community and help train teachers to teach computer science!

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