Instructor of the Month - Patricia D.
Welcome to another ETalk, where we introduce an amazing person at Elevate K-12 involved in revolutionizing education through high-quality live online instruction inside schools!
Name: Patricia D.
Location: Sanford, FL
Experience With Elevate K-12: 1 year
Expert/Superstar In: Math and Science
What excites you most about teaching your particular subject?
Math is a subject that many students find difficult. Nothing excites me more than when a student has what I call a "lightbulb moment," when suddenly this difficult material starts to make sense to them. That has always been my goal in teaching math, to get more and more students to understand the concepts and to really begin to enjoy learning the subject.
How do you make live, online instruction engaging?
This was the one thing I was most concerned about when I went from face-to-face to online learning. What I discovered was that a lot of what I do in face-to-face instruction translates to online learning. I use a lot of questioning to get students to think through problems and try to come up with ideas and solutions. In addition, it is important to use the tools available in the online portal. Having the students work out problems on the screen with their pen, using the polls, and having students collaborate through the mic or chat are all effective ways to keep the students engaged.
What strategies do you use to effectively reach your students who are working below grade-level expectations?
It is so important to make sure that all students are participating and engaged in class. The more engaged a student is, the more they will begin to improve. I use polls quite often in class to assess students' understanding. We then go over those problems in order to ensure everyone is comfortable with the topic before moving on. A great relationship with the classroom coach is also incredibly helpful in ensuring that students are being supported when they are struggling. I talk with the CC's every day about student concerns and strategies we can use to help them. I also make use of Otus lessons that allow students to review concepts they may be struggling with.
What do you like about working from home/remotely?
I like being able to devote all of my work time to the students rather than worrying about driving to a job. My only focus when I get up in the morning are my classes, not traffic or worrying about the weather. I also save a lot on gas!
How do you ensure your students have been successful whether they're learning at home, school, or both?
I would say that, again, engagement is the key. Making sure that all students are participating in class whether they are in the classroom or at home is the most important thing for their success. I also reiterate that a good relationship with the CC is so helpful here.
Describe your best moment teaching live and online. Be specific!
My best moment was during a Geometry class when we were in the middle of a class discussion about the Area concept. One of the students noticed that the class time was running down and said, "Aww man. I hate leaving this class!"
Tell us a little more about who you are--what do you like to do?
My favorite things to do are read, spend time with my puppy and with my niece and nephew who live next door, and swimming. I love dogs, and I currently have a 7-month-old puppy who keeps me very busy when I am not working. Something surprising about me is that I have a black belt in two different martial arts. I started my teaching career by teaching kids and adults karate.
Thanks, Patricia D.!
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