An Engineer's Personal Letter to Teachers

Author: Kevin Banks, Firia CTO

As a nerdy Software Engineer, I could try and present logical reasonsTM why you should attend one of Firia Labs Professional Development (PD) opportunities. Instead, I’m going to do something out of character and talk about feelings…

Specifically, how I suspect you will feel at the various stages of your Professional Development Journey.


Stage 1 - Apprehension

Over the years at Firia Labs, we’ve seen a lot of what we’ve dubbed “Computer Science Draftees” - librarians, coaches, science teachers and math teachers who don’t know coding at all who somehow got tapped to teach an upcoming Python coding class at their school.

Sometimes they do have some exposure to coding, but only in the form of drag-and-drop programming (AKA “blocks”).

Even in the best case scenarios, it’s often true that a CS teacher knows some other text-based programming languages (JAVA, C++, etc.) but has not yet been exposed to Python.

If any of these scenarios describes you, you may be feeling a sense of dread at the thought of teaching something you don’t know.


Stage 2 - Longing

Since staying stuck in stage 1 forever isn’t any fun, you’ll probably then enter a “searching” mode, trying to find some resources (anything!) that can help.

Hopefully that’s how you came to find this blog post, and I also hope that you have run across one or more descriptions of our upcoming PD Opportunities.

So the next stage in your journey is to get signed up, and you move to…


Stage 3 - Skepticism

There’s probably no way around this stage… until the date of the training actually arrives, what could convince you otherwise?

However, time marches on, and soon you will be at your first day of PD, leading to…


Stage 4 - Relaxation

As the PD session gets rolling, seeing the first few examples of how truly easy to use the CodeSpaceTM

learning environment is will start melting away the dread and apprehension you experienced in stage 1.

As you work through more and more coding exercises (led by one of our wacky instructors), your pleasant, calm emotional state is going to be replaced by…


Stage 5 - Excitement

We’ve seen it time and again - as the teachers work through more and more of the lessons, and see how integrated features like the Python Debugger and the ToolBox (a built-in Reference Guide) make it easier to get unstuck, attendees start feeling energized and begin looking forward to sharing the coding lessons with their students.

 After the PD session, you hit the best stage of all…


Stage 6 - Confidence

After you have completed one of Firia Labs PD sessions, you will feel confident in your ability to help your students learn Python Coding.

Reaching this stage is the goal of your PD Journey, and why I encourage you to take advantage of such an opportunity when it presents itself.