Bob Jones Needs a Computer Science Teacher


Aidan Sims, Writer

Bob Jones has been without a “normal” computer science teacher since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. As one can probably assume, finding a high school computer science teacher is very difficult. Bob Jones has gotten multiple professionals with computer science backgrounds to instruct the CS classes at Bob Jones while it looks for a full-time teacher, but it needs a teacher to provide consistency through multiple courses and re-build the program.

The previous CS teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Rountree, retired at the end of the 2019-20 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This spring semester, the students have ACCESS programs to learn the CS classes, but this can come nowhere close to an in-person teacher. Mrs. Rountree said, “During my 23 years teaching at Bob Jones, I gave students immediate feedback on their work. When a student had completed a programming assignment, I tested it and we talked about their approach to the problem. I suggested alternative solutions.” This includes the AP classes AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles, which are difficult to teach as an instructor and difficult to learn as a student through a virtual program.

Lacking an in-person computer science teacher and the absence of computer science competitions this year have put the diversity of our computer science courses and the field in general at risk. As Mrs. Rountree said, “Going to competitions is a great way for students to network with similar-minded students, especially girls and people of color. Unfortunately, even today, very few females, blacks, and Hispanics choose computer science in high school and college.” Bob Jones received the Computer Science Female Diversity Award from the AP College Board last year, which is a step in the right direction, but Bob Jones only had 9 females in the 2 classes.

Unfortunately, people with a CS background aren’t likely to take a teaching job as they would make much more money working for a tech company or contractor. Also, having to teach during a pandemic would put the teacher at a greater risk of being infected with COVID-19 than if they could work virtually for their company. Hopefully, Bob Jones will be able to find a teacher soon and will be able to get our Computer Science courses up and running again with an in-person teacher who can have direct interaction with the students and tailor the instruction to their needs.