CS Teacher Series: Why Did I Choose to Teach Computer Science? by Rodney Weems

| Rodney Weems

CS Teacher Series: Why Did I Choose to Teach Computer Science? by Rodney Weems

This week, as part of Computer Science Education Week, we are highlighting the personal side of Computer Science and STEM/STEAM. To do that, we’ve gathered some of Chicago’s best teachers in Computer Science to highlight the work that CS and STEM education does for our city. Our next blog, from Rodney Weems of Ariel Community Academy, details why Computer Science is important to teachers as well as students.

I am a Special Education/Diverse Learner teacher. I chose to teach computer science because I wanted to give my students opportunities to learn how the technology they use everyday with cell phones, video games and computers really works. I wanted to incorporate computer science into my instruction in an effort to help train students in logic and critical thinking skills. There are aspects of programming or CODE that can be emphasized in every subject I teach.

Students of all abilities can learn computer science and programming at their own pace and the skills they learn prepares them for a future in technology. Teaching computer science to my students gives me a way to leverage their interest in computers to keep them focused and engaged for longer periods of time.

I know the statistics show the U.S. losing its competitive edge in technology and that American students are falling behind other countries in the critical subjects of math and science (STEM subjects). I wanted to introduce my students to some of the different careers in computer science and technology. I chose to teach computer science so that they can be more than just consumers of technology. I want to teach them that they can be future developers and innovators in technology. They can make the hot new video games, apps for cell phones and social media sites and become the innovators that help our nation gain back its competitive edge.

Rodney Weems is a Diverse Learner Instructor at Ariel Community Academy in the Hyde Park/Kenwood community in Chicago, IL. He is part of the CODE.org/CS4ALL initiative in Chicago Public Schools.

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