Alice Fisher, Bellaire High School

 

On an ordinary school morning, Mrs. Fisher stood at the front of the class and began the lesson of the day. To introduce the concept of arrays, Mrs. Fisher had decided to read an excerpt out of a Dr. Seuss book. As Mrs. Fisher recounted the tale of the poor Mrs. McCave who had too many Daves, chuckles and soft laughter rippled across the classroom, and smiles widened on students’ faces. After reading the poem, Mrs. Fisher explained how Mrs. McCave could have utilized an array for keeping track of all the Daves, an elegant segue into how to use arrays in code.
 
This unorthodox way of introducing a topic is an intrinsic part of Mrs. Fisher’s teaching principle. She does not merely relay information to the students; instead, she engages the students and piques their interest so that they are genuinely excited to learn computer science. Mrs. Fisher has created a classroom where no questions are left unanswered, and no curiosities are left unsolved. She encourages students to take risks and think outside of the box, even when that means she has to spend time outside of class continuing discussions with students. 
 
Perhaps the most amazing part of the class is that Mrs. Fisher makes both beginners and advanced learners feel immersed in the curriculum, but accomplishing this tremendous feat is not easy for Mrs. Fisher. In the RUSMP Teacher Spotlight interview, Mrs. Fisher uncovers the challenges that she faces as a teacher as well as other aspects of being a teacher. Watch the interview here. Read the transcript here.
 
Mrs. Fisher truly has made--and is continuing to make---a significant impact on students. The lessons that she teaches go far beyond just computer science; she teaches students to embrace their inquisitive natures, to become better team workers, and to problem solve by thinking critically. Just like how computer science itself is a blend of logic with creativity, Ms. Fisher’s class is a blend of rigor with a bit of unconventionality. She has shown us all that teaching computer science--and learning computer science--doesn’t have to be a bore, but rather can be as fun as reading Dr. Suess poems!

 
Student Testimonials:

“Ms Fisher helped me learn coding in a very easy to understand way since before her class I had this preconception of coding as being overly difficult and convoluted and she helped change that notion” — Alkis Boukas, Junior in CSA

“Ms. Fisher is so supportive of me! I love her teaching style! I've learned so much from her!” — Albert Zhu, Sophomore in CSA

“She’s a good teacher because she notices when you work hard and improve in her class, for example, my first exam in her class was not as good as I wanted it to be but then I greatly improved and she noticed which made me feel more motivated to do well” — Amiel Katz, Junior in CSP

“Ms. Fisher's enthusiasm for teaching and creativity has allowed me to solve problems more efficiently — David Luo, Junior and ex-CSP student

“Ms. Fisher has motivated me to work diligently since freshman year. Her contributions to Bellaire STEM go beyond her immense support of her students and include support for various STEM clubs, including the robotics team, which would not be where it is today without her help.” — Jimmy Xin, Junior and ex-CSA student

“She helped a lot with IB stuff outside of school and is really devoted and puts in a lot of effort” — Andrew Tan, Junior in CSA and IB CS