Katie Hart's picture

Is This Thing On? How the Virtual Teacher Hears the Voices of Their Students

I love that “AHA!” moment.  When I was a student teacher there was a time I thought I should throw in the towel, but then it happened.  I was able to help a student figure out exponential relationships using the tale of Alice in Wonderland and exploring how Alice’s eating and drinking habits affected her overall size.  When the student finally understood the concept, his eyes lit up, his posture straightened and a literal gasp escaped his lips.  Not only did he understand an exponential relationship, but I knew I was hooked on teaching.

Many think it is a challenge for online teachers to experience that “aha” moment because we are not physically in the same room as our students.  For me, teaching online does not mean I don’t hear the voice of my students.  There are many tools we use to allow students to communicate with their peers and their teachers.  Students are able to give green checks for approval, or red x’s for a negative response.  Writing on the whiteboard by hand or typing with unique fonts are all ways to hear the voice of the student.   

K12 Inc.'s picture

GWUOHS Student Foils The Competition

GWUOHS Student Stefani Deschner (left) takes her opponent down

Written by Victoria Bannon

When George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS) rising senior Stefani Deschner was younger, she used to put a fencing mask on one of her stuffed animals and practice drills on it.

Years later, Stefani, now 17, is the third-best female fencer in the world under the age of 20 after winning the bronze medal at the Cadet World Championships.

“Fencing, or foil, is usually known as ‘the sport with swords,’ but it’s a lot more than that,” she explained. “It’s played with two people that are both holding blunted instruments who have to hit each other in certain target areas. There is a referee that judges who has the ‘right of way,’ and you gain points when you hit the other person. Whoever gets to 15 points first is the winner.”