In With the New and Old Together

One of the interesting things about my line the past couple of years is that it is a split line.  Not since my second year of teaching nearly twenty years ago have I had a line with classes outside of math.  Rather than a section of physical science, however, this time around it’s computer science—two intro sections and one AP (CSA, not CSP).  Also this time instead of being what’s left over for the new guy, it’s entirely of my choosing, and indeed, something of the fulfillment of a long-held dream, something that I’ve worked towards and advocated for for quite some time.

The two subjects (math and CS) couldn’t be much more different (although they may seem very similar to the uninitiated).  One has a history stretching back millennia and is encrusted with loads of baggage, while the other has burst upon the scene only within the past hundred years or so.  The content of one has changed very little in the past several hundred years, while the core knowledge base of the other continues its exponential growth.  From the point of view of the classroom teacher, one is bound by high-stakes standards and constricted by standardized testing, while the other is most often an elective and in many ways, still a blank slate.

And that, in a very real sense, makes all the difference.

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