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CodeCombat Teacher Spotlight - Amanda Henry

In our CodeCombat Teacher Spotlight we highlight extraordinary educators who share stories about their classrooms, students, and their own journey with CodeCombat.

1.Tell us about yourself and where you teach.

I am the Rehabilitation Instructor at an all-girls residential facility in Kentucky. I am responsible for teaching students about college and career options. Assisting them in completing FAFSA forms and providing them an opportunity to take the ACT.

I am also the coordinator for our 12 week greyhound program. We partner with Greyhound Pets of America - Louisville to rescue retired racing greyhounds and with Morehead State University to provide veterinary care.

2.What inspired you to teach?

I was able to participate in community service through my high school where I would go to our elementary school to work with the gym teacher. During one of the classes I was given the privilege to work with a boy in kindergarten who had been born with disabilities as a result of a heroin addiction. At that moment I knew I wanted to try to make a difference in the lives of youth who need a positive role model and a second chance.

3.What is your favorite aspect of teaching with CodeCombat?

I enjoy watching the girls work together to problem solve in order to figure out the solution. The variety of levels that promote computer science and web development keep the students engaged while learning coding language.

4.What is your favorite moment related to using CodeCombat in your class?

Our school participated in the CodeCombat Initiative sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS) for one week during the month of October. We competed against other residential facilities both male and female in several states.

Three of my girls finished in the top fifteen. One of those three finishing in the top five out of 380 total participants. This was the first time she had any exposure to Code Combat and it inspired her to enroll into college and major in Computer & Information Technologies.

Editor's Note: Learn more about the inspiring student from Ms. Henry’s class who finished top 5 in the CodeCombat Initiative and has taken her success to greater heights! CodeCombat Student Spotlight

5.What is a typical day like in your classroom?

My class consists of approximately 4 to 5 students at a time and a greyhound. Students discuss and research careers they are interested in as well as how to properly create a resume and complete a job application. Students also explore options for post secondary education. The greyhounds learn how to be pets and are usually found napping in a corner on their slumber ball.

6.What are some of the specific challenges you face that differ from a traditional classroom setting?

The students in my class are at different grade levels and ages. Some students have already earned a high school diploma and are working towards enrollment into college or have already been enrolled into college.

The majority of students have experienced some form of trauma in their lives therefore classwork may not always be at the forefront of their mind on any given day.

7.How do you teach computer science without a CS background?

The teacher resources and lessons provided by CodeCombat are easy to understand and implement. In addition to the enjoyment I receive from researching computer science on my own, I find it rewarding that I can share the knowledge I have gained with others.


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