« Binary "Bits" For All! | Main | Equity in the Light of Fairness »

Report from the AZ Leadership Cohort

I am fortunate that my fellow Arizona representative on the Leadership Cohort, Renee Ciezki, is a friend from the same school district. Although this has probably limited our vision a little, it has made it very easy to communicate. It also turns out that we share many common values about teaching and CS. So during our Cohort training we were able to quickly get on the same page and form a concrete set of goals that we wished to pursue. I would encourage cohorts to develop a strong partnership with one another as much as geography allows.

The natural starting point for us was getting the chapter established, so we made this a big priority. As I recall, about 8-10 people attended our informational meeting, and several others expressed a strong interest but could not attend. We immediately got started on the chapter creation process and we were officially recognized in early February. We had agreed to meet every other month at different venues in the Phoenix metro area to try to accommodate teachers in various parts of town. In April, several of us were in Tucson for an FBLA conference, so we held a meeting there to reach out to teachers in that part of the state.

This was all very exciting of course, and I think Renee and I both felt like we had accomplished a number of our goals. However, at the end of the (school) year when it was time to actually evaluate our state of affairs, we were a little surprised. It turns out that we hadn't actually looked at our "goals document" in many months! As the chapter came together and began to establish its own initiatives, Renee and I got caught up in those, and I guess in our minds those efforts became our goals for the year. There was never a moment when we consciously abandoned our Cohort goals, of course; I think our CSTA efforts in general just blurred together. The net effect of this is that we failed to make much headway on the Cohort goals we had set when we went through the training.

I don't think the Chapter work needs to be completely distinct from our goals as cohort members, but in our case the two happened to be very divergent. As cohort members, we had set goals relating to advocating the importance of CS education, while as a Chapter we wished to work on professional development opportunities. So it becomes a question of priorities. Time that we spend on chapter activities is time we don't have to spend on our advocacy goals.

The summary here is that there is enough work for everyone in the effort to expand and improve CS education. While we as cohort members need to continue to remind ourselves of the advocacy goals we have set and work toward them, there are many other activities that need attention. As cohort members reach out to the CSTA membership in each state, we encourage you to get involved. Everyone can make a contribution.

Tim McMichael
CSTA Leadership Cohort Member (AZ)

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)