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Pictured above are AZVA Educators.

Online teachers don’t celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Day in the same way as teachers in traditional schools.  We celebrate it virtually with our students – by email, video, and collaborative posting boards like Padlet.  Students send us heartfelt messages and funny memes to show us their appreciation.  However, there are countless qualities I appreciate about my fellow online educators! Here are the top three!

  1. We are Creators! I appreciate my co-workers for their sense of adventure! We have to be trailblazers in leading transfer teaching methods, building relationships, and working with students in a virtual setting. Nearly all of my co-workers started their teaching careers in a traditional brick & mortar school setting.  We had to take our knowledge base from that setting and repurpose it in a virtual environment.
  2. We have Grit! Teachers in a virtual school have to adapt to change.  We have to push forward to help our students when they (or we) have days with slow internet or computer glitches.  Thankfully they don’t happen often! We have to be open to new ideas.  We live in a technology-based world and some changes happen quickly – new school platforms, new curriculum, and new strategies to help students engage in the online setting.
  3. We are Encouraging! Teachers in online school realize we are trailblazing together! I appreciate my colleagues’ willingness to support each other through professional and personal triumphs and struggles.  Even though we don’t see each other in person, there is a strong culture of support throughout our school.

Thank you, Virtual Teachers, for all that you do! You make a difference every day to students and to me as compassionate and determined innovators!

About The Author

Elizabeth Nelson

Elizabeth Nelson is the middle school and high school principal at Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS). Prior to joining TOPS, Elizabeth taught 8th grade math and was a Lead Master Teacher at Arizona Virtual Academy (AZVA). Previously, Elizabeth taught math in Arizona and Indiana for 4.5 years.  She became a business owner and mother before ultimately realizing that teaching was her passion.  Elizabeth graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in economics.  In 2009, she earned a second bachelor’s degree, this one in secondary math education. In 2014, she received a master of science in educational leadership from Ball State University. Elizabeth lives in Mesa, Arizona, with her husband and enjoys family time spent with their combined eight children. Elizabeth loves taking photos, math, adventures, learning, and spending time outdoors with her family.

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