Try TEALS, it will be a lasting memory…
Are you struggling with recruiting IT talent? I think everyone is. As I learned about the facts from NEW IT Alliance I really wanted to understand how I could help our organization with recruiting IT talent. I met Amy Bires who has a leadership role in TEALS and plunged into something I never thought I would do, teach high school. I was excited and nervous all at the same time–and to make matters more interesting I was going to teach at the high school I had graduated from! Weird…
I can tell you that no matter what oddness you may feel about doing this, it’s all worth it in the end. I met other volunteers and the classroom teacher we would be working with. I could see we were going to be a great team. Through the summer, Amy prepared us to work in the classroom together and deliver Microsoft content and teach Computer Science. Given we’re all artists deep down, our teaching team made some changes to the content and made it what we felt would be the best experience for the students.
Through all of that preparation, the results were amazing. The first semester we taught a graphical programming language and second semester was Python. I hadn’t written a program in many years, but it was fun to dive in. Plus, all of us have a story in IT and it’s fun to be able to share that with others and see what IT interests they have.
There is nothing as rewarding as working with students and seeing the ‘light bulb’ go on! They have creative freedom for projects and I was taken back as to everyone’s creativity! It is an amazing experience…and along the way I made some new friends, both adults and students.
During one of the ‘culture days’, where we got to introduce students to real IT people and solutions in the classroom, we did a poll. We asked how many of the students were planning to enter an IT field as a profession after high school. Nearly the whole class raised their hand…we were all so pleased!
If TEALS is something you’re considering, I would encourage you to dive in. Yes, there’s work involved with teaching and preparing for lessons, but there’s no better reward. Plus, you will have amazing people around you to help you through the process. I’m thankful to all of those that helped me ramp into this, most notably the teaching team I worked with and the classroom teacher (Nathan Waid) who showed us the ropes. You all are amazing!
Volunteering with TEALS has helped EDCi with recruiting IT talent. My involvement guarantees that I am helping to mold our future workforce while helping the community. We strive to follow the students I work with throughout their high school and college careers and we hope they turn to us for a job upon graduation.