Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust digital learning into a much larger spotlight. As schools around the country continue to face numerous challenges, many more students are being taught virtually. While the virtual classroom is different than face-to-face learning, virtual teachers are just as passionate about inspiring young minds as classroom teachers, so we at Where Learning Clicks would like to give you the opportunity to meet your virtual teachers.
Last month, I had the pleasure of speaking with some of Edgenuity’s virtual teachers, during which time I learned a great deal about teaching in an online environment. But what struck me the most was how dedicated to student success and forward-thinking Edgenuity’s virtual teachers are. Everyone I spoke to was flexible, creative, caring, and most of all, highly supportive in helping students maximize their academic success, and below, you’ll get to hear from some of them.
Meet Your Virtual Teachers
Let’s face it, every teacher has to be flexible, and teaching in an online environment is no different. Science teacher Kettyah Chhak explained to me how important it is for virtual teachers to be flexible:
“My number one thing is, I want to be able to help my students. So if they’re reaching out to me, I’m going to be flexible because I want to be able to meet that student where they’re at, and maybe that’s the only time they can meet with me. So for me, it’s about being flexible.”
They Get Creative
In speaking with virtual teachers, I found we kept returning to the idea of being creative with students. As a language and music appreciation teacher, Juan Sanchez explained how teaching in an online environment often requires creativity:
“We have to be very creative to accommodate students’ learning styles and their needs.”
To that end, he often makes his own videos to help students get a better grasp of the material, which he sends to students’ families to keep them active and engaged in their students’ learning.
They Are Caring
One of the challenges of online teaching is making that personal connection with students. Science teacher Wendy Morris enlightened me on the importance of making a connection with both students and their families:
“I try to make that personal contact very quickly. I think that’s one of the things that allows me to engage with students, and I try to engage with parents as well.”
Wendy creates her own welcome video for students and their families that she sends in an email along with a survey that students can fill out to receive bonus points. She then uses that survey to get a sense of a student’s personality and connect with them on a personal level throughout the semester.
They’re Supportive of Students
A good virtual teacher must be highly supportive. Students who are learning online have to take more ownership over their learning, which can benefit them as they prepare for college and careers. However, with greater ownership comes more responsibility, and virtual teachers often have to provide extra support for students new to digital learning. ELA Instructional Supervisor Marcus Curry explained the importance of being supportive:
“The focus on online learning is in that competency-based, student-centered model where the student is learning and going through the educational experience on their own. A good virtual teacher is one who is able to support that process and provide good feedback, give great resources, motivate, and connect with the students.”
Now that you’ve read about them, here’s your opportunity to meet your virtual teachers “face-to-face” by watching our video: