Back to School for Master of CS Ed

Today I submitted my complete application for grad school. I have been thinking for quite some time about going back to get a grad degree and renew my teaching cert. It’s so real now.

The degree program is a Master of Science in Computer Science Education. Such a thing did not exist in this region when I finished my undergrad. At the time I had to become a math teacher to get in to a high school teaching situation quickly.

But my heart is in web dev. I didn’t last long as a math teacher, since the web changes so fast and I felt my skills rusting badly after just 2 years in the math department. I was a good math teacher, and so I understand the school had no incentive to help me get endorsed for computing. It was just the nature of the system at the time.

Now that I’ve been freelancing for a few years, and my firstborn is about ready for preschool, it’s time to look at my own ‘back to school’ and it will be here before I know it, I’m sure. The fall semester is going to come at me fast!

It’s actually an exciting time for computer science education. So many districts and states are finally appreciating computing as its own content area. Ideally, getting in on this degree program while it’s so new will be just the ticket to a leadership position, possibly curriculum development and/or support. I’m sure I could be happy actually teaching in my own classroom, but I am looking to keep my options open to help other teachers and make more impact on more classrooms.

This is a career move 10 years in the making. In the summer of 2008, I had just finished my first teaching experience with Supplemental Instruction, and took my newfound love of teaching for a test drive at Emagination Computer Camps. It was so awesome, and so rewarding, that I went straight to the Ed School at my university and double-majored in education as a senior undergrad. Since then I became a certified math teacher, taught summer school, full contract high school math, and plenty of individual and small group tutoring. I keep 1 foot in education even as a web developer, and I still sell both math and web dev lessons at TeachersPayTeachers. The next stage of my career should put it all together, marrying the love for teaching and the love for computing into a more challenging but more satisfying path.

I’m ready.

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