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  1. Effective professional learning communities (PLCs) are important in supporting teacher learning. This study investigated computer science (CS) teacher leaders’ perspectives on the lessons and the challenges in supporting CS teachers through local PLCs. We purposefully selected ten CSTA chapters and conducted focus group interviews with the chapter leaders between 2020 and 2022. Our findings indicated that these PLCs offered social-emotional support, continual networking opportunities, and rich professional learning resources. Also, they amplified teachers’ voices and supported CS teachers’ professional identity building. To engage CS teachers, the teacher leaders built trust, collaborated with other PLCs or organizations, and set an inclusive PLC culture. These PLCs had challenges in recruitment, leadership development and transition, and building group identity. 
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  2. The recent pandemic has resulted in challenges to the prioritization of CS curriculum and strained the structures that support and grow the professional development and identity building of the teachers who implement it. In this poster we examine how local chapters of a national CS teacher advocacy organization (the CSTA) support their members during a time of transition and change. Using focus group data collected from an ongoing multi-year longitudinal research project, we tried to better understand the challenges that these entities faced as their normal structures of communication and outreach were closed off, and how such challenges might affect the perceptions of the role that local chapters play in supporting the continued development of their members, including their identity as CS teachers. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Motivation: Recent efforts to expand K-12 computer science education highlight the great need for well-prepared computer science (CS) teachers. Teacher identity theory offers a particular conceptual lens for us to understand computer science teacher preparation and professional development. The emerging literature suggests that teacher identity is central to sustaining motivation, efficacy, job satisfaction, and commitment, and these attributes are crucial in determining teacher retention. While the benefits associated with a strong sense of teacher identity are great, teachers face unique challenges and tensions in developing their professional identity for teaching computer science. Objectives: This exploratory study attempts to operationalize computer science teacher identity through discussing the potential domains, proposing and testing a quantitative instrument for assessing computer science teachers’ professional identity. Method: We first discussed the potential domains of computer science teacher identity based on recent teacher identity literature and considerations on some unique challenges for computer science teachers. Then we proposed the computer science teacher identity scale, which was piloted through a national K-12 computer science teacher survey with 3,540 completed responses. The survey results were analyzed with a series of factor analyses to test the internal structure of the computer science teacher identity scale. Results: Our analyses reveal a four-factor solution for the computer science teacher identity scale, which is composed of CS teaching commitment, CS pedagogical confidence, confidence to engage students, and sense of community/belonging. There were significant differences among the teachers with different computer science teaching experiences. In general, teachers with more computer science teaching experience had higher computer science teacher identity scores on all four factors. Discussion: The four-factor model along with a large national dataset invites a deeper analysis of the data and can provide important benchmarks. Such an instrument can be used to explore developmental patterns in computer science teacher identity, and function as a pedagogical tool to provoke discussion and reflection among teachers about their professional development. This study may also contribute to understanding computer science teachers’ professional development needs and inform efforts to prepare, develop, and retain computer science teachers. 
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  4. This paper reports a study of CSTA chapter leaders' perceptions of their chapter's roles in supporting computer science (CS) teachers. Intent on understanding the impact of member-ship in a professional organization on the development of teacher professional identity, our research revealed that in the chapter leaders' perceptions local CSTA chapters had an important role in supporting the development of their members' professional identity as a CS teacher. 
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  5. Current efforts to expand K-12 CS education highlight the great need of well-prepared CS teachers with a strong sense of professional identity. This study proposes the CS teacher identity scale, a quantitative instrument for measuring CS teachers' sense of professional identity. The survey was piloted through a national teacher survey and tested for its reliability, dimensionality, and validity. The analysis reveals a four-factor solution for the CS teacher identity scale. 
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