Potential New High School Computer Science Teacher

Hey all,

I am looking for advice. Right now, I’m teaching Computer science using code.org Discoveries program to our 6-8 graders. There is a possibility that I will end up becoming our 6-12th grade computer science teacher in Indiana.

I have a degree in education, with a focus on math and general science, so basically anything I’m teaching now is what I’ve learned through Code.org. I’m curious what I should do to start preparing to teach HS computer science. I’m really green when it comes to anything beyond Unit 6 on Code.org Discoveries.

This transition is also probably a few years off, so I have time to learn and prepare.


Hi @dbroersma,

I moved from middle school cs to high school cs last year. It looks like you have some time so that is a huge plus! Here is what I did and what I recommend:

  • Figure out the classes you will be teaching and if you can choose the curriculum. I teach an Intro class, AP CSP and AP CSA for my computer science classes.
  • I use CSD for my Intro class so I was familiar with that.
  • I use Code.org’s CSP for my AP CSP. This is also JavaScript but it uses App Lab and is event driven (vs the draw loop) so there was a learning curve for me. To learn that, I took one of the Code.org summer sessions and went through the entire curriculum. Once you are assigned the class, you can sign up for the AP Summer Institute. Summer Institutes are good for teaching you how to use College Boards tools and provide skills for teaching AP classes. They can also be helpful in learning the language in the curriculum but this isn’t the goal.
  • AP CSA is a subset of the Java language. Sounds like this would be new to you if you are teaching this class. Code.org now has curriculum so you could follow the same track of signing up for one of the summer sessions and go through the curriculum on your own. (I did this with CSAwesome). I also went through CodeHS’s curriculum on my own to learn Java - it is free. Again - once the class is assigned you can take an AP Summer Institute. I also took a 5 day summer PD class through one of our local colleges to learn how to teach the class.
  • These are classes that I teach but there are many others so research PD that support new CS teachers. They may be free or you may even be able to earn a stipend. These might include National Center for CS Education (I took a graduate course from this organization), Code.org of course:), CMU, and CSTA just to name a few.

Hope this helps!