Celebrating our teachers
The end of the academic year is here, and we are marking the occasion by celebrating teachers from all over the world.
Since last September, we’ve run a whole host of programmes that teachers have been involved in. From training with us at Picademy to building apocalyptic projects for Pioneers, from running Code Clubs, Dojos, and Raspberry Jams to learning tea-making algorithms on our free online training courses, these brilliant people do amazing things on a daily basis. And even more amazingly, they somehow also have the energy to take their knowledge into schools and share it with their learners to get them excited about computing too.
Dr Sue Sentance, the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s new Chief Learning Officer, has trained teachers for many years and understands better than most the impact a good teacher can have:
“When thinking about teaching Computing, we often get so caught up in the technology — what software, what kit, what environment, etc. — that we forget that it’s the teachers who actually facilitate students’ learning and inspire and motivate the students. A passionate and enthusiastic teacher is more important than which device or tool the students are using, because they understand what will help their students. “
In celebration of our education community, we asked teachers around the world to answer one big question:
“What has been your computing highlight of the year?”
Caroline Keep won the TES New Teacher of the Year award and runs Spark Penketh, a school makerspace in Warrington. She will also be training with us in August to become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator. Her highlight of the year was achieving success at the forefront of the UK’s makerspace movement:
“All the physical computing projects we’ve done since February when Raspberry Pi co-founder Pete Lomas opened our school makerspace (the first one in a UK state school) have been amazing! We’ve built and coded talking robots, and gesture-controlled ones on micro:bits with primary schools. We’ve built drones, coded Arduinos for European Maker Week, opened a RoboDojo, used Python and Node-RED on Raspberry Pi to control weather stations, Pi Camera Modules, and robots, and we’ve designed a Digital Creative pathway for Industry 4.0 skills for September. Next up are Google AIY Projects kits, Redfern Electronic’s Crumble, and Bare Conductive’s Touch Board. We can’t wait!”
Heidi Baynes is an Education Coordinator for the County Office of Education in Riverside, California. Her highlight is a birthday party with a difference:
“The Riverside Raspberry Jam was held on 3 March 2018 as part of Raspberry Pi’s Big Birthday celebration. Fellow Picademy graduate Ari Flewelling and I planned the event in conjunction with Vocademy, and we were thrilled by the overwhelming support from the local community. The event featured a project showcase, workshops, and an introduction to all things Raspberry Pi. We can’t wait to start planning the 2019 Riverside Raspberry Jam! I was also particularly proud of the students from Mountain Heights Academy who shared their Raspberry Pi and micro:bit projects at the Consortium’s #CSforAll event in Riverside. Our student Hailey was able to share her experiences as part of a student panel and even had the opportunity to meet the CEO of code.org, Hadi Partovi!”
Amy Bloodworth is a teacher at The American School In Switzerland (TASIS) in Lugano, Switzerland. Her highlight is literally out of this world:
“It has been a busy year for us here in Switzerland. Highlights for me and my students include meeting a computer game designer, competing in the World Robot Olympiad, and participating in the Astro Pi Challenge. With Astro Pi, my students loved that they could send their coded message to the ISS astronauts in any of the languages of ESA. As we are an international school, so this helped the students feel more connected to the task. The Astro Pi Challenge hooked the students in and acted as a springboard for other activities, such as coding an ISS tracker that alerted them when the ISS was overhead, and other science experiments using the Sense HAT. Next year, I plan to start a new after-school club dedicated to competitive robotics.”
Janice Paterson is the Principal Teacher at Wormit Primary in Fife, Scotland. Her highlight wouldn’t seem out of place in The Walking Dead:
“We loved the amazing open-ended challenge of a zombie apocalypse, courtesy of Raspberry Pi’s Pioneers programme. It was truly cross-curricular and completely immersive for all the young learners. The books were devoured for information/ideas, and the makeup kits inspired our imaginations and creative side. We had Pi-powered, zombie-detecting robots coded to offer assorted challenges, and micro:bits set up as zombie teacher detectors (their thermometers were used because, of course, teachers have hot bodies!). We all learned loads! The best bit was sharing it all with the rest of our Code Club and the whole school.”
Wojtek Zielinski works in Poland as a teacher. His highlight was a breakthrough he had when working with the translated versions of our resources with his students:
“When children work with resources in English, they often end up following what’s in the pictures. They don’t understand why the game or the program they created works. Translated materials enable them to truly learn and understand programming concepts, and that empowers them to experiment and create more. Translations are therefore essential for learning.”
We are so grateful for everything our teachers do to help us make our programmes a success. Together we’ll be able to achieve our goal of making high-quality computing resources that are accessible to everyone!
As a quick aside, you might also be interested to read a recent interview with Raspberry Pi creator and co-founder Eben Upton about the positive impact his teachers had on him.
Whether you’re a teacher wanting to share your success, or you simply want to share your appreciation for the teachers who inspired you, tell us about it in the comments below.
And from everyone at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, there’s only one thing left to say…
Teachers, we salute you!
YAAAYY! Teachers are amazing, and you all inspire me every day. Shout out to my former teachers, Ms. Bandy (6th grade) and to Ms. Smith (high school geometry and AP Calc). Thank you for pushing me to be the best version of myself and for being such strong female role models. I became a teacher because of you!
Raspberry Pi Staff James Robinson
I had many teachers that inspired me from Mrs Neale, my awesome maths teacher to Mr Wordsworth who first introduced me to Linux. I also have to mention my mother, a teacher, who inspired me to take up teaching myself. Over the past few years I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many exciting and inspiring teachers. You’re all amazing, keep doing what your doing!
I’d like to mention the work of Kay Sawbridge at Caroline Chisholm School in Northampton, who despite everything that life has thrown at her and her colleagues this year, still runs a thriving Coding Club after school each week which continues to grow and grow.
In particular, Kay is still championing the learning of Physical Computing with the Raspberry Pi community throughout the school. You can watch a short video I recorded when I visited her school in October and see for yourself: https://youtu.be/84egmGFSoCI
To all my teachers: you are my inspiration for deciding to become a teacher myself now.
Particular thanks to Ms. Gammel and Ms. Stack whose classes I always enjoyed in secondary school, and Ms. Mac, my primary school teacher for two years who (among a long list of other things) laid the most solid foundation in Irish grammar that made second level classes a breeze!