Rebecca Malmquist's picture

Teacher Appreciation Week: Why Cancer Didn't Stop Me From Teaching At Georgia Cyber Academy

 

 

When I was diagnosed with cancer this past February, one of the first things I decided was that I wanted tocontinue my life as usual. I wanted to help my 8th graders at Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) continue through to the end of the year, and if that meant having a few bad days here and there, I’d be all right with that. In a brick and mortar school, I would’ve had to take off for the rest of the year to focus on this personal battle that forever changed my life. However, thanks to K12’s flexible format, that hasn’t been the case. I’ve even been able to bring my laptop to my chemotherapy appointments! Virtual teaching has allowed me to keep my life as normal as possible, even in this extremely abnormal time in my life.

For years I wanted to be a virtual teacher. Like most K12 teachers, I used to teach at brick and mortar schools. When my daughter was born, I worked part time at a homeschool hybrid and loved the flexibility. When one of the parents mentioned K12, I applied. Now, I’m in my second year, and I have to say that this is the best place that I have ever taught. I have really found my niche in education.

I teach language arts in the Advanced Learning Program (ALP) and have received an incredible amount of support with regard to my battle with cancer. When I shared my diagnosis with my students, it was humbling to receive so many kind words of encouragement- - one of my students even sent me a card and a gift in the snail mail!

K12 Inc.'s picture

LearnBop for Families Launch: Online Math Tutoring Direct to Consumers

“My mission is to help as many kids as possible master mathematics,” says Bharanidharan Rajakumar, LearnBop’s visionary CEO who founded the K12-acquired math curriculum learning software firm in 2014. “We developed a technology that will ensure kids are set up for success in the future so they don’t get left behind.”

As LearnBop for Families launches this week, enabling a new consumer audience to benefit from the revolutionary software, Bharani reflects on his journey to this exciting phase of his career as a digital learning entrepreneur.

“I thought it was pretty profound that potentially you have kids that are taking an entire year to learn a subject they could potentially learn in six months if they had more interaction with a teacher. This was the genesis of LearnBop.”

Regarding the 2014 K12 acquisition, Bharani says what drew him to join forces with K12 was the company’s history as a pioneer in distance learning.

“Since then, LearnBop has shown to be highly-effective in schools. Our clients have been really pleased with the outcomes they have achieved —so there was no reason we couldn’t bring this tool into homes to help more students.”

Edie Taylor's picture

Teacher Appreciation Day

 

Most people, even those in the online education community, are surprised when they hear that I’m an online special education teacher at Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy (MGLVA). They question the efficacy of teaching special education students online, many of whom function several years below their chronological grade level. My message on this Teacher Appreciation Day is the online environment is the best environment for special education students!

In a brick and mortar setting, special education goes something like this – students are taken in and out of their main classrooms causing them to miss lessons. This forces special education teachers to become glorified tutors, trying to get their students up to speed on the curriculum rather than the basic functions they are supposed to be learning. This lack of time for basic skill lessons makes it even more challenging for these students to cope in their regular classrooms, causing an unfortunate downward spiral. At MGLVA, there aren’t these challenges, as we schedule basic skills sessions that don’t conflict with lessons.

Additionally, many of my special education students come from brick and mortar schools where they encountered severe bullying. Bullying crushes a special education student’s confidence in the classroom and makes them not want to go to school. In virtual schooling, special education students are able to interface seamlessly with their nondisabled peers. Many of my special education students are so low functioning – I teach 5-8th graders that function at a cognitive level of a student in Kindergarten-5th grade – that it can be difficult to be in a classroom setting. Online they feel comfortable.

All year students on my special education caseload have been working on building reading, writing, and math skills, but recently I shifted the focus to making inferences using reading, charts, graphs, and other resources. I was so amazed by their ability to reason at such a high level, especially when their academic skills are at such a low level.  The students are really engaged in the work, which is amazing to see.

Jennifer Schultze's picture

Live online assembly gives WYVA students the opportunity to meet the Governor of Wyoming

governor mead

Each year since Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s entered office he has taken time from his busy schedule to meet with Wyoming Virtual Academy (WYVA) families in a virtual assembly.  Governor Mead has been very supportive of our online school.   At this year’s assembly, Governor Mead discussed how we have one of the biggest state land masses in Wyoming, and our families are often very far from schools based on their family occupations.  This is important because online education gives students the opportunity to have high quality education even in the most remote parts of our state. 

WYVA students got the unique opportunity to show the Governor the diverse areas of where we live across the state.  He loved watching the students interact with the virtual whiteboard!

Ashley Collier's picture

K12: Honoring and Serving Military Children

April is the Month of the Military Child and an important time to recognize and support children of those serving in the United States military. When military families move, their entire lives can be disrupted. For many children, their primary concern is how to transition their lives with minimal impact to their education.

In a recent publication, K12 outlines the unique educational challenges facing students in military families, including:

  • inconsistency in curriculum as students move from one state to another
  • feelings of isolation, loneliness, or alienation as the “new student” in the group
  • varying state-specific regulations and requirements

Erin White, a wife of an U.S. Air Force officer and mother of two students enrolled in K12’s International Academy, credits online schooling with bringing consistency to their busy and mobile lifestyle.

“My husband is retired U.S. Air Force and at one point our family moved three times over one year which would have been three separate schools in one school year for our children. That would have been extremely difficult for my children had we not schooled online.”

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