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I feel fortunate to be part of an organization that truly embraces a culture of education excellence.

When I embarked on my career as an online math teacher in 2009, I was immediately immersed in understanding what it meant to be a proficient in the virtual classroom. Talk about trial by fire! The good news is I was provided with ample training and had the support of a nationwide community of teachers at K12-powered schools to learn from. It was nice to be able to reach out to math teachers from across the nation for tips and tricks that I could integrate into my own classes. Collaborating with my colleagues proved effective in immediately increasing student engagement in my classroom.

Years later, I am still amazed by the continual commitment to excellence the K12 community has for improving the online education experience for students. I’m fortunate enough to meet up with my colleagues both in person, and in an online setting, for professional development on a regular basis. We gather to gain a better understanding of our learning management platforms, share new ideas and methods to employ in our day to day work, and learn how K12 is investing in taking online teaching to the next level.

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Lunch with colleagues during a recent PD.

A perfect example is K12’s recently announced partnership with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). This collaboration will include the development of a customized, competency-based Master’s in Education degree with a unique focus on K through 12 virtual instruction. Many of us at K12-powered schools will have the opportunity to work towards this Masters, or take professional development programs to be created by the SNHU partnership.

To say the least, as a team we are excited about this program and what it will mean to teachers and students in the years to come! It again reminds us that learning is truly a lifelong pursuit. The information I’ve acquired in my professional development at K12, and continue to acquire, has elevated my job as an educator to new levels.

About The Author

Jo Marie Bolick

Jo Marie Bolick is a math teacher for Insight School of Kansas (ISKS) and Kansas Virtual Academy (KSVA). She began working at ISKS in 2009 shortly after the birth of her first son and has taught a variety of math classes. Prior to ISKS, Jo Marie spent four years teaching 8th grade at Washburn Rural Middle School in Topeka, Kansas. She currently works with high school students and enjoys cultivating interest in mathematics in an online environment. Jo Marie graduated from Washburn University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, specializing in secondary education, and she holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Kansas. For Jo Marie, teaching online is the perfect fit. She was never good a choosing teacher clothes and decorating bulletin boards. Most of all she cherishes the opportunity to build relationships with students state-wide. Outside of teaching she enjoys running, gardening, and being outdoors with her husband and three sons.

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