I was first employed as a teacher in the fall of 2007 in a high school in the western suburbs of Chicago. I started teaching various physics classes and in 2012 added computer science courses. In 2017, I moved from the science department to the CTE department and now exclusively teach computer science classes. Starting in 2020, I will also teach some IT classes, including a cybersecurity class. I am the Lead Mentor (Head Coach) of our FIRST Robotics Team, whose first season was in 2009.
Before becoming a high school physics teacher, I was a software engineer for ten years at National Instruments, a measurement and automation company. I worked on a wide variety of projects and those probably of most interest to an education-focused audience would be the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT. When I returned to school to become a teacher, I started Sugar Maple Software to consult and develop consumer applications for Mac OS X and the iPhone and iPad. In the summer of 2011, I was a Teacher Research Associate at Fermilab and contributed to the Holometer Experiment.
This blog is titled Pedagogue Padawan to emphasize that I am learning how to effectively help others learn. Pedagogue is defined as:
a teacher, esp. a strict or pedantic one. ORIGIN late Middle English : via Latin from Greek paidagōgos, denoting a slave who accompanied a child to school (from pais, paid- ‘boy’ + agōgos ‘guide’ ).
I find the etymology interesting. Padawan is a reference to a Jedi apprentice in the Star Wars universe.
I created Pedagogue Padawan since I hope that, by sharing my reflections on learning to help others learn, others with similar interests will find some insight or at least chuckle. I will focus on various topics in which I am interested: assessment, computer science, engineering, mastery learning, modeling, physics, standards-based grading, and technology.
I’m on Twitter as @gcschmit.