Giving Compass' Take:

• Coding is an increasingly important skill for students who wish to be part of the future economy, but many teachers are not prepared to teach it. 

• How can policy assist teachers who want to bring code into their classrooms? Is there opportunity in your community to provide support for teachers?

• Coding alone won't provide students with the skills they need. Learn how teachers can introduce computational thinking into K-12 curriculum.

Teachers rarely come into schools with an extensive background in coding, let alone the knowledge of how to easily introduce it to young children. For me, coding always seemed like a difficult concept reserved for only computer scientists. However, once I started bringing coding into my instructional practices, I learned that it’s far more approachable than many teachers (including myself) would expect.

The field of computer science has over 500,000 current openings, and that number is only going to continue to grow, according to Once I recognized the importance of this field, it seemed necessary to start teaching my students how to code.

As fostering an interest in computer science helps students have better job security, higher incomes, and more, starting coding instruction early only strengthens those opportunities.

But, like many teachers, I started this initiative with no idea how to code. When I was in elementary school, computer science focused primarily on typing skills. Over time, I learned more and more about computers, but I never learned coding. While I had heard of JavaScript and binary code, it was all pretty baffling to me. And, since I had no reason to understand the inner workings of the computer science field, I was pretty satisfied with my above average computer skills. But now, in an increasingly STEM-driven educational landscape, teachers feel pressure to pull computer science skills into curriculum. This means teachers need to learn the basics of coding themselves in order to teach it to students. But how can they do it?

Read more on teaching code by Kelsey Parrasch at Getting Smart