The purpose of computer science education is to train students for employment in the various technology companies. In the process they will learn to think logically, mathematically, and scientifically about the problems they will be asked to solve in those companies on a daily basis.
I encourage my students to think about the bigger picture. Maybe they can learn to program and get a job at a big company. But how could they use their new skills to improve the world? I ask them to think about creating a project that could have a positive impact on the world. The way to be of value to a company or make a lot of money is to provide a positive product or service that no one else does.
Technology companies are looking not just for employees who have technical skills, but for people who can work with others, come up with new ideas, solve difficult problems, and do independent research to discover what they need to know.
I want to teach computer programming because I myself find it a fulfilling occupation. I enjoy making a computer do what I want or need it to do. I get a thrill out of solving a difficult problem. I feel that a computer program can be a work of art, and I enjoy showing my work off to others. I want others to experience this same sense of success and fulfillment.
Many teachers have encouraged me over the years to teach: Bud Anderson, my thesis advisor at San Jose State University; Curtis Pembrook and Helen Sun at Mission College; Jon Degallier at Ohlone College; and Jeff Rascov at West Valley College.
When I teach a computer programming class, I have several goals for my students:
The most rewarding part of teaching is developing relationships with my students. I try to emulate my own favorite teachers. Sure, there are some teachers I remember because they helped me learn something useful, such as Photoshop. But mostly I remember teachers who encouraged me: the teachers who recognized my math abilities; the teacher who encouraged me to stay in high school one more year and grow up, when I planned to graduate early; the Adobe Illustrator teacher who encouraged my fumbling attempts at art. I want to encourage my students the way these teachers encouraged me.