Last night, I went to an information session about TEALS, a volunteer program where software engineers teach CS to high school students on their way to work. Basically, the schools schedule the CS class for first period so that the engineers can make it into work by 9:30. There are four programmer volunteers per class and one teacher from the school who, over the course of four years, learns how to teach CS.
TEALS is starting to expand into more New York City schools and had some inspiring stories. This semester, one group of volunteers is teaching at a school that is 100% English-as-a-second-language students. This took some experimentation, but they found that if they explain things in English and then break the class into groups, then the students who are more fluent in English can explain the concepts to the other students in Spanish.
This class will represent 12% of all hispanic students taking the AP CS test this year.
The school’s IT guy is super supportive of the program and stays after school almost every day to tutor the students and comes in on Saturday to open up the computer lab (many of the students don’t have computers at home, in fact, two are homeless).