Proximity Learning’s expert teachers work hard to build relationships with their online students so they engage in class. They use writing prompts, game-based learning and simple conversation starters to make students feel comfortable in the virtual classroom. Once students feel safe and cared for, their curiosity blossoms. October’s featured teachers truly leverage this technique to build student success.
While subbing for a high school English class, online teacher Cathy Byrd connected with students through a writing prompt. The prompt asked students to compare the foster system now versus the past. When Ms. Byrd explained that she worked with foster children, students turned their cameras on and engaged with her because she had a true experience to share. As Ms. Byrd opened up, the students shared their own experiences including one who currently lives with foster parents. She loves working with Proximity Learning and meeting the people - fellow teachers, corporate professionals, and curious students - who make her feel supported.
Last year, virtual elementary school teacher Samantha Reynolds took over a 4th-grade math class that hadn’t had a consistent teacher for months due to the teacher shortage. When she began class every day, she took the time to ask students what they needed to be successful. As Ms. Reynolds fulfilled those needs, the class thrived. The students needed the boundaries and support that a constant educator offers. Ms. Reynolds loves watching her students grow. She created a loving classroom community and, “By the end of the year, they were taking care of each other.” She says, “Mindblowing! It was phenomenal. They are a class I will remember forever.”
Araceli Pena teaches 4th grade virtually with Proximity Learning. She had to work hard to build trusting relationships with her students, but it was well worth the effort as students became eager to learn. She felt rewarded when they actively participated in class. Ms. Pena enjoys teaching students from around the United States from the comfort of her own home. She values the training and support she is given and feels it allows her to provide the best education to her students.
Oscar Pena has an online work-from-home teacher job where he makes a difference in students’ lives. He worked with a special education student who was studious and participated in class every day. Mr. Pena was excited to see the student excel in the virtual classroom. He enjoys teaching from home because he has easy access to digital classroom tools. Recently, the students in his classroom did not have access to a microscope, so he utilized an online program to teach the parts of the microscope. Students were able to manipulate the microscope and get the full experience of using the tool at no cost to the school. They were able to access a virtual microscope and learn how to apply their learning in a new way.
Virtual teacher Stephanie Winfrey has had several remarkable experiences with Proximity Learning staff and students, but one thing stands out among the rest. She loves connecting with students from different parts of the country. Students easily adapt to the online learning environment. Ms. Winfrey establishes relationships early on by asking about the culture of their city and state to get to know her students. She also utilizes game-based learning to engage them in their coursework. Ms. Winfrey especially likes using Common Lit to differentiate her online ELA lessons.