Ms. Lisa Watson may be retired from the United States Army, but these days she’s finding herself fighting a different kind of battle – getting students to realize the relevance of computer science. Since trading in her camouflage uniform and combat boots, Watson has been in the classroom training up tomorrow’s leaders in technology, teaching courses in both math and programming. In a recent episode of Let’s Talk Computer Science, the middle school teacher joined host Sandhya Padala to talk about the importance of computational-thinking skills and how such knowledge can payoff in any job industry.
Watson has been working as an educator for 17 years and her transition into the business was smooth sailing – thanks to the military program, Troops to Teachers. She initially taught math classes at the start of her career, but that soon changed after Watson stumbled into her passion for programing. To better equip herself with the skills needed to instruct computer science-based courses, Watson obtained an education specialist degree in technology from Lesley University. However, the learning process didn’t stop there. As an instructor at Ebenezer Middle School in Rincon, Georgia, Watson is constantly brushing up on her CS skills to ensure students are prepared for the future of work in STEM.
From coding web pages to developing mobile applications, Watson is exposing her students to various platforms to enhance their proficiency in programming. She believes delivering a cutting-edge education will prepare students for a high-tech economy, despite one’s career choice. Although teaching can be a challenging profession, Watson is committed to increasing the quality of computer science education. She encourages students to embrace the field of STEM and build their portfolio of skills for future job opportunities.