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School of Choice for Teachers | Schools

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School of Choice for Teachers
School of Choice for Teachers

Thanks to Schools of Choice programs in Michigan, students are afforded the opportunity to choose a school environment that best meets their learning needs. These programs also offer our state’s educators opportunities to teach in environments that are best suited for them. Just as some teachers flourish in a traditional school, there are those who prefer teaching at a virtual public school, such as Michigan Connections Academy, the school where I teach.

I work with an incredible team of teachers – they are state-certified, specially trained in online learning, recognized as Highly Qualified under the guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Act—and live in Michigan. In fact, even though we teach in a virtual school, more than 60 teachers travel to the school’s office in Lansing every day to lead online instruction for more than 1,700 students across Michigan in grades kindergarten through 12. The office setting is conducive to collaboration and without tasks like bus duty and recess. Our team of teachers can easily share best practices and discuss student performance, in addition to teaching our students.

One of the things I like best about teaching in a virtual school is the individualized approach to learning. Each student in our virtual school receives a personalized learning plan based on his or her strengths, areas for improvement, and interests. The technology we use offers an up-to-the-minute window into a student’s progress – allowing me to support students when they need it most. If I see a student’s grade slipping, or a student falling behind in lesson completion, I jump in and can help them; conversely, if they are doing great, I praise their work and can offer more challenge in a very timely way. This is extremely rewarding.

Virtual school teachers also have the benefit of developing more personal relationships with a student’s Learning Coach (in most cases, a parent). Working in unison with Learning Coaches who are fully engaged as partners in their child’s education is a key component of student performance. 

I feel fortunate to have the choice to work in a virtual school and make a difference in the lives of Michigan students who need and want a different education experience. And as a professional, I’m thankful for the engaging virtual school work environment and the dedicated Michigan educators with whom I serve.

Sarah Geddes is a 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher and a resident of Michigan


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