With the summer coming to an end and the new school year in session, the Back to School season is firmly upon us. Whether this is your first year or your tenth as a teacher, we understand that heading back to the classroom always brings a mix of excitement and so much planning!

We spoke to veteran educator and Piper Pro, Spring Charles, to learn more about how she prepares for the school year ahead. Spring is a Computer Science teacher at Albertville Middle, part of the Albertville City Schools District in Alabama. With 20 years of teaching experience under her belt, Spring also shares tips about how to incorporate new instructional technology into your classroom like a true (Piper) Pro!

Q: Tell me more about yourself and your background in teaching?

A: I have been teaching for 20 years. This is my fifth year teaching Computer Science at Albertville Middle School.  

Before coming to the middle school, I taught second grade. I love teaching and learning with my students.

There is no greater joy than watching them smile and laugh when they feel like they have accomplished something important to them.

Q: How did you first learn about Piper?

A: I first learned about Piper through our system IT guy. Terry is always looking for new and exciting materials for our teachers and happened to run across Piper. 

He came to me and said I want you to look at this and see what you think.  So we ordered one and now we have a classroom set of Piper computers. We are in love with Piper.

Q: How do you currently use Piper in your classroom environment?

A: Right now at the beginning of the school year we work in groups of two students.  I feel like this is the best way for them to learn how to put the Piper together using the blueprint.

There is no greater love than watching your students look over a blue print and build something that they are excited about. After we get the Piper computer build they will have the opportunity to learn Minecraft, and then move on to other great programs on the Piper computer.

Q: What tips would you like to share with teachers starting the new school year with new instructional technology like Piper for the first time?  

A: Not to be afraid of it. I was so afraid that I would not be able to build it and teach from it, but now I can't wait for my students to get started. 

Piper is such a great learning experience. Your students have to take their time and follow the blueprint to make sure you build it correctly. Then being organized will help.  I bought pencil pouches to put the parts in so that my students would not lose them. This has been great for all of us. But have an open mind is a plus.

Don't be afraid of it but enjoy it, because your students will love it.  You will want to do Piper all the time and nothing else.

Thank you, Spring, for sharing your experience and these amazing insights with us!

Piper Pros like Spring play an integral role in contributing to product development here at Piper and spreading the word about the adoption of STEAM Learning. 

Piper Pros also get first access to product sneak peeks, giveaways, and discounts on Piper Education bundles, curriculum, and accessories!

If you’d like to help shape STEAM education in schools all over the world, head to our website to submit your Piper Pro application.

Have a wonderful start to your school year!

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