Teach programming to high-schoolers and pre-K students at the same time!
Miami-Dade County Public Schools' childcare centers welcomed some new teachers this past year – high school students! This collaboration benefited students on both ends and has been a bigger success than planned, according to Cristian Carranza, the district's executive STEM director.
High-school students in the early childhood education academy had the opportunity to learn about programming while also having first-hand experience with teaching. Carranza says there are many benefits to this program, including the ability for preschool kids to "see that the person in control is the programmer; it's not magic."
Both groups of students are gaining important skills that can put them above the rest in their classes. The high-schoolers are learning programming, which can later make them a more marketable educator. The preschoolers are able to enter into the robotics pathway once entering kindergarten.
This program is something the district hopes to expand and could be something other districts could pick up on as well. Many high-schoolers want the in-person experience to learn more about teaching. At the same time pre-school educators can often struggle with keeping a group of children engaged with one to two teachers.
This program allows for small-group work of valuable skills. Programming is becoming more accessible and will continue to be as districts and schools recognize the importance of it.
To read more about the collaboration of high school students and pre-K students learning programing: High schoolers teach robotics to pre-K students.F
For further resources about implementing coding in the classroom, click here.