Meet the Teacher: Jason Thigpen

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Welcome to Meet the Teacher – CodeMonkey’s blog segment where teachers from all over the world share their experiences on what it’s like being an educator. Today’s post features Jason Thigpen who is a K-8 Technology Specialist at Bronx Community Charter in Bronx, NY.

Honestly, [I became a teacher because of] the state of Technology and Computer Science education along with life circumstances. While teaching was not the first choice, I have always answered the call for coaches and/or instructors in areas where I have experience. The current role I sit in was in the making for over 2 years from the first time I visited the school as the IT Professional for a day where students asked me questions about my business and the work I performed. …My background is not in education but in Information Technology. As a connected educator, I am able to gauge students’ learning curve and points of frustration because it’s familiar territory. I sometimes make reference to an agile software development method called ​Pair Programming​ which has programmers work in pairs to solve problems. I lead with a ​video​ and make mention of the technique periodically in class i.e. ‘Let your motivation drive you while your heart navigates’. 

[Working with children changed my perspective on the world] because splitting my time as a professional and entrepreneur in IT for years, you end up educating colleagues and clients on various technologies. At times, the politics of working with adults can disrupt the process of changing the world, while working with children you quickly realize there is more potential. Educating children has the best chance of global innovation.

It’s important to me that my students have a clear example of how to accomplish their education goals whether that is getting a passing grade or completing a project from independent learning activities.

[My tip for teachers is to] first, look at how you use technology daily and then examine how your students use technology before buying into a solution or resource. Teaching has been a great opportunity for me introduce students to the Computer Science principles and techniques that will hopefully follow them for years to come.

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