Future teachers

Every child in Washington state needs a great CS teacher. Could that be you?

How do I become a K-5 CS teacher?

In Washington state, teaching in K-5 is holistic; teachers don't just teach one particular subject, they teach all subjects. Washington state does not yet programs that specialize in K-5 CS education, and so the best ways to CS in a K-5 context is to:

  • Pursue a certification as primary school teacher (see below for a list of colleges and universities offering certifications at different levels). This requires meeting the state's CS competencies standards and passing a state exam run by NES.
  • Pursue careers at after school and summer programs that teach computing topics to primary school-aged children.

How do I become a middle or high school CS teacher?

Unlike primary school, middle and high school teachers do teach particular subjects. Therefore, there are many more pathways:

  • Pursue a certification as secondary school teacher (see below for programs). This requires meeting the state's CS competencies standards and passing a state exam run by NES.
  • Volunteer through Microsoft's TEALS program, which connects CS content experts with expert teachers.

How do I become a higher education CS teacher?

Faculty at colleges and universities do not need to be certified to teach. However, some colleges and universities require a Ph.D., a masters degree, or significant experience teaching CS. Here are some pathways to becoming a CS teacher:

  • Review job postings at the state's 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities on the CRA Jobs website. These are typically posted as early as November and as late as February, with most interviews occurring January through April.
  • Reach out to CS teachers in higher education listed in our Community page to learn more about careers.

What colleges and universities can prepare me to teach K-12 CS?

Currently, there are only a handful of programs:

Why aren't there more programs that prepare CS teachers?

While higher education prepares a lot of teachers to teach math, science, English, social studies, and other required subjects, most of our state's universities do not yet prepare teachers to teach CS. A 2018 report by CS education experts from around the country recommended the following:

  • Schools of education in higher education need to create pre-service programs that teach the content, teaching methods, and state standards for teaching CS.
  • States need to supplement these pre-service programs with in-service professional development programs.

Washington state has only just begun these two efforts.