When Maricarmen Perez Torres moved to a new state while expecting a newborn son, she needed a flexible position to allow her family time and continue doing what she loves -- teaching. Now in her third year teaching, Maricarmen, who is a military wife, mother, and virtual teacher, says working with Proximity is “magical” because she gets to balance the things she loves most in life.
Finding Work/Life Balance Through Live Instruction Teaching
Mrs. Perez balances her family and work-life by building her teaching schedule around her own children. She starts working before her kids wake up in the morning, so she has time to get them off to school and spend time playing with her young son during her breaks. This way she can give her full attention to teaching during her classes and give her full attention to her children when she is off.
Mrs. Perez taught in brick and mortar schools for 5 years before joining Proximity Learning. This year, she is teaching 8th grade Math for a virtual school and Algebra 1 to English Language Learners. She has about 50 students this year, and she simply loves teaching them.
Transitioning to Teaching Live Virtually
The initial transition to livestream teaching was difficult, but Mrs. Perez quickly developed techniques to help students visualize Math equations from computer programs like Nearpod. She takes part in training on new software and asks the support team for help when she needs it. She loves the challenge of implementing new technology into her classes and discovering new ways to teach.
Mrs. Perez uses Math games to determine which students need extra help or what concepts to review. With the help of these diagnoses, she can tailor lessons to ensure her students are keeping up with the material. Proximity Learning has provided her with many resources, so she does not have to plan lessons from scratch every day.
To get to know her virtual students, Mrs. Perez plays games and asks questions that are not related to Math to break the ice and form relationships. These fun interactions allow students to feel comfortable and open in her class. When students feel secure, they are more likely to ask for help when they need it and find power over their own learning.
Benefits of Teaching with Proximity Learning
Mrs. Perez’s favorite things about working with Proximity Learning is the flexible scheduling, lack of lunch duty and other time consuming tasks and less overall planning. These perks have helped her to achieve work/life balance and continue teaching while caring for her young family.
Proximity Learning’s mission to provide students with the expert teachers they deserve keeps Mrs. Perez inspired. She provides educational equity to students in rural areas and takes the impact to heart. She feels rewarded when her students tell her they never liked Math before her class and now they love it.