My philosophy of teaching begins with inclusion of all students. In every class, I have students from 9th to 12th grade with abilities that range from IEPs and 504s to academically talented and advanced placement. The guidelines and expectations are clear. Students are there to learn online at their individual pace with respect for everyone in the classroom. I teach, coach, mentor and advocate for my students. My classroom has been compared to a one-room schoolhouse and I agree that is an appropriate description.
Students need to be engaged in the learning process and feel a sense of control over their environment. For many students, online learning gives them this opportunity and responsibility. I work very closely with the student, his or her parents and the counselor to make sure the student is taking the course that results in the greatest level of interest and motivation.
Learning takes place in an atmosphere that is positive and generates energy. I am excited and enthusiastic about teaching and learning online and that emotion is contagiously shared with my students. Even when there are technology glitches, we always put a positive spin on them and turn them into learning experiences. We celebrate student success individually and collectively. Even though I may have 15 students working on 15 different lessons, we acknowledge individual course milestones as a group. My students know that I am there to support their learning and they also support each other with resources and by sharing experiences.
Teaching in the age of information is dynamic, exciting, challenging and rewarding. I believe that the integration of technology in every classroom is critical to our students’ success and acquisition of 21st century skills. Thanks to the use of technology, education is changing at an almost exponential pace. I work hard to maintain a daily professional development online network as well as collaborate with colleagues to bring the best technology resources to my students.
Photo title created with Spell With Flickr