I taught online English for five years before switching to my current role as a virtual Academic Mentor. I work with kiddos from different parts of the country, striving to keep them engaged in their online learning, and supporting them on their way to their diploma. It’s a worthwhile job and I enjoy being connected to the world of education as it continues to evolve, but I’d be lying if I said it’s not challenging! It ain’t easy keeping a 13-year-old on track when he doesn’t know the first thing about managing his time. I mean, let’s be honest: I’m going to be 27* and I still struggle to manage my time!
*plus 10 shut up
There are so many different things I try to impart to my virtual students that I wouldn’t have thought to discuss with students in the traditional classroom. Brick and mortar schools offer built-in luxuries that we in the virtual sector simply don’t have, like an environment already conducive to learning–many of my online students are sitting on a floor in a busy house with distractions flying around them. Traditional schools have a bell to signal the beginning and end of class, physical education to stretch legs, and a teacher standing over the students as to keep them focused on their goals.
Not every student can handle the flexibility of virtual school, which is precisely why online learning isn’t for everyone. But I think we could increase reach and engage more kiddos with resources like WittyWe. WittyWe is a video streaming service that provides supplemental materials for students in any classroom–even if that classroom is home. Short, interactive videos appeal to the visual learner in all of us. Complex skills and concepts are simplified, which allows all students to be exposed to college-level and advanced topics.
In addition to core subjects, WittyWe also offers life and career readiness skill content, which I’m officially renaming Hacks for Personal and Professional Success. I’m especially excited about what WittyWe offers my virtual students:
Goal-setting and future planning skills
Money management and financial skills
Social skills and social awareness
I talk to my students about setting short and long-term goals, keeping their eye on the prize has helped them prioritize tasks, using graduation day as motivation to not give up. I’ve often suggested they get up from their computers and go for a walk, enjoy nature, or do something physical since a lot of our day consists of being stationary. I encourage them to join clubs, participate in our field trips and face-to-face activities, snack on “brain foods,” and take notes while learning. These WittyWe courses also provide relevant-to-my-students tech knowledge, as well as much needed “don’t be a weenus online” help:
Hey teachers, homeschoolers, fellow Academic Mentors, and schools: WittyWe is free for 90 days–snag your free trial HERE.
I’m a fan! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think. If nothing else, this is a great bank of resources to help any kid anywhere learn something new. JACKPOT.