[K12OSN] OT: Who is teaching Python?

Robert Arkiletian robark at gmail.com
Thu Jun 22 05:49:06 UTC 2006

Thanks for the responses. After doing some research on
this issue and learning some Python myself I have decided to switch
from C++. I can't believe how easy it is to learn. Here are my reasons
for switching:

I really like the elegant efficient simplicity of Python.
I can't tell you how many times I have requested/pleaded students
indent properly.
There is no heavy syntax burden in Python unlike C++ and Java.
Another major reason is enrollment. I am finding that students who are
put off by the added complexity tend to become disinterested in
programming. I usually only get the keeners signing up for my senior
course. For 2 years straight there have not been enough "keeners" to
run a senior course. If Python can create a fun successful
experience then I am sure my enrollment and retention will increase.
Video arcade game programming in C++ or Java seems impossible at the
high school level but with Pygame and Python it's doable.
After teaching programming for 4 years I am finding that algorithm
development skills are more important than syntax knowledge. That's
the hardest part of programming for students. "How do I start?". They
may know the syntax of loops, if-then, etc but they don't know how to
develop an algorithm to solve a problem. It's not easy to teach but
this is the crux of CS. I think using Python will allow me to focus
more class time on this issue.

I am really excited and eager to start teaching Python in Sept. The
only down side is I have to generate new tests and resources. However,
it's nice that there are quality free pdf books out there. (Thanks

Robert Arkiletian
Eric Hamber Secondary, Vancouver, Canada
Fl_TeacherTool http://www3.telus.net/public/robark/Fl_TeacherTool/
C++ GUI tutorial http://www3.telus.net/public/robark/

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