Open House: Let’s meet the Virtual Online Teacher
Whether you are a first year or 25 year veteran teacher, preparing for the new school year is all the same. Your tool belt includes a staple gun for the bulletin boards, tacks to pin up the over-the-table desk tags, label maker to mark those crayon and pencil bins, brand new sharpie markers to label the turn in trays and folders for the students, and the sticky tack to hold up all of those signs you just bought at the teacher store.
“Let’s Go Team!”
At the elementary school level, it was also very important to have a theme.
Not having a theme meant you were fair game in the teacher’s lounge.
“Did you hear the news? Mrs. O’Donnell doesn’t have a theme and the school year is set to start in five days!” GASP!
Do you know how many animals or sports teams a teacher can go through in a career?
I’ve been the frogs, owls, O’Donnell Slammers, and even the O’Dizzly Bears, just to name a few.
After all of the preparation, it was time to meet your students at Open House. Even though your body was sore and tired, it was ready to stand and meet your students and families and welcome them into your classroom and life for 180 days.
Now let’s meet the Virtual Online Teacher.
The tool belt is quite a bit different; in fact, there isn’t really a tool belt. The online teacher has sharp eyes, dexterous fingers, and a clever and creative brain. We prepare for school quite differently than the brick and mortar teacher. And this doesn’t change either; whether you are a first year or 25 year veteran teacher, preparing for your online classroom is all the same.
Our desk is organized and beautifully decorated with pictures, sayings, signs, and maybe even a calendar. We might not have just one, but two or three monitors to display all of the open browser windows. I only have two but Santa knows I need one more!
We are loaded with techy stuff. An online teacher has fancy phones, printers, scanners, keyboards, headsets, microphones, laptops, digital pens, webcams, and just about any else you can think of.
Rubbing my hands together greedily and looking at all of my stuff, in fact, I am always thinking, “What else do I need?” [Insert evil laugh here]
Sitting in my yoga pants and professional blouses, I plan out my lessons, create my welcome videos, work out my schedule, and prepare to call and meet my families. Whether you live in Australia, Iceland, or America, I will call you and introduce myself. That is why we have fancy phones!
I used to think Open House at the brick and mortar school was personal and warm. However, nothing beats a one-on-one phone call with a family. I look forward to talking to the learning coach and meeting the student and answering questions.
Status for the 2012-2013 school year: 20 students down and about 100 to go! Woo hoo! Bring on the school year!
I am honored to work with such talented and driven people on a daily basis. We strive to keep up with the latest technology so we can keep our students engaged. We plan together, collaborate as a school, and share ideas so we can make a difference and touch the lives of our students.
Even though our classroom isn’t decorated and perfectly labeled, our online classroom can outshine the prettiest bulletin boards. Our classroom includes a mixture so rich and unique with culture and personality. The best of the best students from all over the world are in one place, my classroom. And for one hour we share together and make a connection that is much stronger than any sticky tack.