It starts with great teachers, and the rest grows from there.
With that philosophy in mind, The Flatiron School has taken some of the most talented teachers in the nation and united them for one purpose — to bring programming to the high school level.
This summer, over 200 applicants entered into a rigorous interview process, and only a select few were chosen. Following 100 hours of intensive online coursework, fellows flew out to New York City for training in an accelerated classroom environment.
Now that the training portion is complete, they’re off to teach at Flatiron’s Pre-College Academies in 10 different cities for the remainder of the summer.
“We’ve already seen some pretty extraordinary results,” said Director of Pre-College Lyel Resner, who has been working with the fellows from the program’s inception. “We’ve seen so many kids, from all sorts of backgrounds — many of whom never envisioned themselves as someone who would enjoy or excel at technology — finish our classes with a radically different sense of their own talent and their possibility in the world.”
Fellow Colin Sato feels excited to build programming initiatives for his students once he gets back to his town of Tulsa, OK., though he’s focusing on learning the elements of code first.
“I feel like my brain has been exploding in a good way everyday,” Sato said. “It’s been pretty amazing.”
Returning home come fall, fellows’ efforts will begin to caulk the cracks of an educational system that has been left behind in the wake of technology. Initiatives like Flatiron Code Clubs mean populations of students who never had access to this information before will be able to come out of high school with a foundation they can build upon.
“These are the sort of skills that are so pervasive,” said fellow Sariaka Mendu. “The ability to understand coding can influence all sorts of people.” The North Carolina Native is also part of a research fellowship in education and plans on taking what she’s learned this summer to inform her work in the future.
As the fellows bring their teaching skills and newfound content knowledge to the classroom starting this week, Resner knows this marks a seismic shift that will impact communities.
“With the intersection of [quality teaching and] content knowledge, we know how to engage and inspire kids. It’s really impactful to grow that intersection of people, and we feel privileged to do that,” Resner said.
Would you like to become a fellow?