Elementary Teacher Switches to Virtual Education to Pursue Her Dreams

Chelsea Penney
October 13, 2021

Karen Wirt loves working in education. She worked in Tennessee schools for 23 years before making the switch to live online teaching with Proximity Learning. She taught Kindergarten through 4th grade and worked as a Professional Development and School Compliance (PDSC) Coach in brick and mortar schools. Both positions gave her the perspective she needed to differentiate education for both students and teachers. Ms. Wirt says those positions prepared her for excellence. 

“I look for ways to improve through professional development, so being the PDSC Coach has inspired me to always keep learning.”

Now, she teaches 1st graders in Texas as a virtual certified teacher with Proximity Learning without leaving her home in Tennessee. From 8:30am-3:30pm everyday, she livestreams into the classroom to teach. She enjoys teaching the same class of students all day because she has time to really get to know them. 

“With this group, I really love it because it’s a smaller group. I’m that person where I want to learn everybody’s name and learn something special about them. I want to know how I can best help them to learn.” Ms. Wirt finds commonalities with her 1st graders, like talking about their favorite anime characters. Her young students respect her as an authority figure and bond with her on a personal level.

Ms. Wirt made the switch to livestream teaching because she wanted more time to pursue her dreams. She needs time to work on her own personal projects, and Proximity Learning allows her the flexibility to choose her own schedule. Furthermore, she does not have to spend time doing lunch duty or creating lesson plans from scratch. There are training videos and resources provided to ensure she spends her time making a difference in students’ lives, instead of administrative tasks. 

In addition to regaining her time, she received great training on the programs. She was able to work at her own pace and choose which resources she wanted to learn about. Additionally, professional development is offered throughout the year, so she can continually grow her skill set. Teachers stay updated on best practices for online teaching and innovative edtech programs. The training opportunities made her feel confident teaching her first virtual class.

Ms. Wirt loves getting to know her students, forming relationships, growing her skills through professional development and having more personal time. However, one of her favorite things about working with Proximity Learning is the respect she feels from the management and support staff. Ms. Wirt knows if she has a problem, the Proximity Learning team will listen to her and solve the issue. Her concerns will not be disregarded as they were in some brick and mortar schools. Teachers’ voices are heard in this community. Just like Ms. Wirt, Proximity Learning is always striving to achieve excellence.

Interested in joining our team of expert teachers? Read more!

about the author
Chelsea Penney

Chelsea Penney earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing from University of Colorado Denver and her Masters of Science in Marketing from Texas A&M University Commerce. She loves living in Austin, TX and working on the frontline as Content Marketing Manager for Proximity Learning.

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