This week we welcome Meg Ray (@teach_python) as our PyDev of the Week! Meg teaches programming to other teachers and has developed a Python-related curriculum. Meg is also the author of Code This Game, a book which will be coming out in August 2019. Let’s take some time to get to know her better!
Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):
I started out as an actor. I studied theater and moved to New York City to start out my career. One of the jobs I did to stay afloat while I was starting out was teaching theater classes to kids. I taught theater programs for students with disabilities as well as homeless youth. This lead me to my career as a special education teacher. I really enjoyed teaching and mentoring young people, particularly young people who have had challenges in their lives.
Around this time in my life, I began to learn to program. I was having a lot of fun with it, and I also started to understand computer science education as an equity issue. I was hired at a school to teach a software engineering and game design class that was required for all 9th graders. I learned as I went. I re-designed the course to include Python in addition to block coding and to be more inclusive of students with learning differences.
Now I develop curriculum and train other educators to teach computer science. Through the Cornell Tech Teacher in Residence initiative, I have been providing in-classroom coaching and support to K-8 teachers. I’ve also been working on my first book! Code This Game! is an intro to Python and computer science through designing a game. It was really fun to have the opportunity to apply everything I’ve learned about teaching Python to kids in a creative way.
On a personal note, I’m a new mom. One of the priorities that I have now is building community. I DM for a D&D (with babies!) campaign, and have been thinking about other ways to make space for family and community in my life. One thing that I love about Python is the Python community. For me that means participating in my local meetup, collaborating with others to support Python eductors, and attending Pycon as a family.
Why did you start using Python?
My partner is a software engineer. He really wanted me to attend the NYC Python meetup with him in 2013. I was convinced it would be boring, but agreed to go one time. I wrote my first program that evening and had a great time! I started going with him every week and using the time to practice and learn. Then he convinced me to attend Pycon with him in 2014. I signed up for a tutorial with Software Carpentry while he participated in the sprints. The rest is history. He’s also learned a lot about education since then. It’s been amazing to have the opportunity to push each other’s thinking, have debates about how CS is taught, and work on projects together.
What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?
Thanks for doing the interview, Meg!
from The Mouse Vs. The Python https://ift.tt/2LZBnD4