August Featured Virtual Teachers Connect with Students

Chelsea Penney
September 16, 2021

Proximity Learning teachers are among the most creative educators in the country. Teaching virtually gives them the opportunity to push themselves to reimagine classroom communication. Connecting with students is essential to the success of our online live instruction.

Amanda Cope

Amanda Cope is our first featured teacher of August! She sends a message from Dubai. Ms. Cope is a digital nomad, meaning she travels full time while she teaches remotely for Proximity Learning. Last year while teaching Texas high schoolers virtually, Ms. Cope was able to really connect with her students. Everyone was home in virtual school and craving connection. She provided the consistency and social interaction students needed.

Ms. Cope also enjoys the challenge of teaching remote learning. She says, “It’s never boring. Every day is something different… It’s a fun challenge, which is why I love it.” See more of her experience here.

Dion Lucas

Math teacher Dion Lucas is featured discussing techniques she uses to get to know students at the beginning of the school year. Ms. Lucas knows it is important to establish bonds with students even when teaching remotely. Because Ms. Lucas takes the time to get to know her students, she can tailor the lessons to their interests and ambitions. 

“The key thing to having a great, successful school year is connecting and being informed of what students are doing outside the classroom,” she says. “One highlight that happened last spring to a former student of mine in Financial Math, Ro Darius Bryant, he signed a letter of intent to play ball at Morris College Sumter in South Carolina. Super proud of him and his family, and that’s what it’s all about: Students first and helping them reach their career goals.”

Hear more from Ms. Lucas here

Pamela Gatlin

Pamela Gatlin is entering her third year teaching Math with Proximity Learning. She finds meaning in the consistency and responsive communication she offers her students during these unstable years. Proximity’s online live instruction offered stability to students and teachers alike. While remote learning in isolation during Spring 2020, Ms. Gatlin says, “The students and I both looked forward to those classes every single day.” 

“I feel that teaching online allows me to communicate more with individual students than I could in the physical classroom.” Ms. Gatlin says, “The chat box is my favorite thing about teaching online. Whether it’s, ‘Can you repeat what you said about singular triangles?’ Or ‘I’m getting a kitten this weekend!’ I love the constant stream of communication that I get teaching online.”

See Ms. Gatlin’s experience here

Jose Olivencia

Virtual certified teacher Jose Olivencia teaches Math, Science and Spanish to West Virginia students. Last year, he introduced Chemistry concepts to his students. They struggled at the beginning, but Mr. Olivencia pulled them through. He got word that every student in his class passed the state exams. “It was so rewarding,” said Mr. Olivencia.  

He says one parent reached out after class to say her child was never enjoyed Science before, but Mr. Olivencia’s class sparked his interest. “Those interactions are things that make the experience working here at Proximity a memorable one.”

What Mr. Olivencia enjoys most about working at Proximity is building student connections and knowing that he is making a difference in their lives, academics, and emotional lives. He says, “I’m glad that I’m able to make a difference in students’ lives every day.” 

Hear more from Mr. Olivencia here.

You can apply to join our team of expert teachers here!

Chelsea Penney earned her Bachelors Degree in Writing from University of Colorado Denver. She is currently in graduate school through Texas A&M University studying Marketing. She loves living in Austin, TX and working on the frontline of the many marketing initiatives for Proximity Learning.

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