August and September featured teachers take pride in instructional excellence. They leverage digital tools and their environments to bring academic concepts to life. As a result, their students are more engaged and have better learning outcomes.
Online teacher Tiffany Walden leveraged the student leaders in her classroom to encourage everyone to participate in activities. The chat feature also gave quiet students the confidence to speak out and share their ideas with the class.
To integrate Socratic seminars into her lessons, Ms. Walden used FlipGrid to allow students to work through the discussion and collaborate in groups. She loves seeing her high school students grow and evolve into young adults.
Tarah Sullivan has taught elementary schoolers virtually with Proximity Learning for 3 years. She regularly engages students with unique interactive activities to bring concepts to life.
During their biography unit, her 2nd and 3rd grade ELA classes had a wax museum where they dressed up in honor of positive role models. Each student researched their public figure and presented their inspirational stories in costume.
“They had to speak in first person about their achievements and answer questions,“ she explains. “We got to meet Dolly Parton, the Rock, and JoJo Siwa, just to name a few.”
Ashley Stanley strives to create a warm and positive classroom environment for her virtual classes. She leverages interactive technologies to engage students in learning and encourage participation. Some of the programs she uses include gimkit, blooket, nearpod, and whiteboard.chat. She has noticed increased interaction and higher levels of success when students use these technologies because they pique their interests.
Ms. Stanley’s favorite thing about being a teacher is building relationships with her students. “I really work hard at doing this in the virtual classroom,” she explains. “I know that if I can build positive relationships with them, they are more successful. They feel more supported and that allows them to be more open to interacting with the academic content.”
Virtual science teacher Christina Schuttler’s favorite part of being an educator is seeing her students apply their learning to the real world. She helps them visualize concepts by giving demonstrations. For example, Ms. Schuttler lives on a farm, so she frequently makes videos of the animals and the environment so students can see academic concepts in action.
“I enjoy being able to take a student who may not like science but then when they start to see how it applies to everything in their life, that light comes on and then they are able to understand why farmers are very important to our society,” she explains. “We need to see what is grown and cared for on a farm that goes into our food supply.”
Ms. Schuttler gives her online students real-life applications to the life science concepts she teaches.
Elvia Trevizo-Delgado found an incredible partnership with her in-class facilitator. They collaborated to present lessons, build relationships, and ensure student success. Students thrived. “It was a stand-out class.”
“Proximity Learning teachers are amazing,” she says. “We love our students, and we love everything about PLI including the mission of being able to provide these amazing students with expert teachers.”