Take Five with Alicia Gomez: Computer Science Content Specialist
08 December 2023
Alicia loves helping teachers integrate technology into their early childhood classrooms.
Take Five is a series that highlights some of the many members of the CPS community who are going above and beyond for our schools. If you know someone who is making a difference, nominate them to be featured here.
In honor of Computer Science Education Week, we’re thrilled to feature Alicia Gomez, one of our District’s computer science content specialists. In her role, Alicia empowers teachers in grades pre-k–2 to integrate technology into their early childhood classrooms.
Before entering this role, Alicia was a pre-k teacher at Eli Whitney Elementary School for 21 years — the same school she attended when she was a CPS student herself!
Alicia didn’t always know she wanted to work in education. In fact, it took volunteering as an adult at her old elementary school for her to consider teaching as a potential career. She quickly realized that she was good at working with children, and after she graduated from college, she was hired as a pre-k teacher at Whitney. During her time as a teacher, Alicia earned her National Board Certification and helped pilot pre-k computer science programming at her school.
What drew you to computer science?
I don’t have a background in technology at all, but when I was a teacher I noticed that most people thought that computer science was something just for older grades. I sought out professional development with the Department of Computer Science, and ever since then I’ve been dedicated to helping integrate technology into early childhood classrooms.
Which computer science educational tools are you most excited about right now?
Robotics, especially for pre-k students! Robotics can connect to so many other subject matter areas, and it’s amazing to see how engaged students are when we’re using robotics.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Getting other educators interested in computer science, and watching students learn new skills! Our young students are actually incredibly good at computer science—they catch on really quickly, and it fosters such important skills that they’ll use for the rest of their lives, like curiosity, creativity, problem-solving, and working within groups. People are always amazed at how much young students can do!
Do you have any advice for early childhood educators who want to incorporate more technology into their classrooms?
Don’t be scared! There are a lot of people who aren’t comfortable with technology, and it’s okay to step out of your comfort zone! That’s what I did. Put aside the fear of new things, have fun with it, and learn alongside your students!
It’s the holiday season—what is your favorite gift you’ve ever given?
The gift of knowledge! It feels so wonderful to be able to spark creativity among these young minds, and now I get parents of former students telling me that their child still remembers what they did in my class, many years later.
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