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5 Ways Our Teachers and Instructional Methods Help Students Stay Engaged

5 Ways Our Teachers and Instructional Methods Help Students Stay Engaged

Student success in virtual courses doesn’t come down to one thing—motivation, high-quality curriculum, and the right support are all important pieces of the puzzle. But, just as in traditional courses, teachers are one of the most critical elements for student success. And, although EdOptions Academy teachers don’t meet their students in person, they are entirely committed to building real relationships with every student and helping students through each step of their virtual courses.

Here are five ways EdOptions Academy teachers help students stay engaged and set our virtual courses apart:

  1. Teachers are state certified and trained to teach in a virtual environment

EdOptions Academy teachers are held to the same standards as traditional teachers in terms of education, experience, licensure, and state certification. Our hiring process includes a series of interviews, verifications, background checks, and training on virtual instruction methods to ensure that EdOptions Academy students are working with the best teachers possible. Nearly all of our teachers have previous experience working in traditional classrooms, as well as in other online settings. We recognize that virtual learning comes with its own set of challenges on top of those that all educators face, and we make sure that our EdOptions Academy teachers are well-prepared.

  1. EdOptions Academy teachers offer virtual “office hours”

One of the best things about traditional classrooms is the number of opportunities they afford for students to organically bring up questions to their instructors and work through challenging concepts together. EdOptions Academy teachers work to recreate this kind of environment by offering standing open office hours where students know that teachers are available to answer questions, talk through assignments, or simply chat with them. Our teachers use online video conferencing and interactive whiteboard software to make these office hours even more personal and productive for students and to turn them into reliable opportunities to truly build relationships.

  1. EdOptions Academy teachers use multiple channels of communication

Everyone has preferences when it comes to communication—some of us could talk on the phone for hours, some are prompt texters, some would rather do everything over email, and some really crave more face-to-face interaction. EdOptions Academy teachers recognize that acknowledging these different communication styles and needs is even more important in an online learning environment. They make a point of reaching out to students right away to find out what their communication preferences are, setting up a regular cadence to touch base, and discussing the best way to get hold of one another for questions, feedback, and concerns. Ultimately, most EdOptions Academy students and teachers end up communicating via phone, video conference, email, text, and collaboration tools available within the course curriculum.

  1. EdOptions Academy teachers work as a team

Virtual courses should never be a lonely experience for students, and the same is true for virtual teachers. EdOptions Academy teachers work closely and collaboratively with another, problem-solving challenges, sharing best practices, testing new ideas, and taking part in professional development sessions—just like traditional teachers! Our team of over 60 full-time teachers also benefits from working as part of smaller teams broken out by subject area and led by experienced Instructional Leads, who are there to provide extra resources, coaching, and support. EdOptions Academy teachers have a built-in professional learning network, and it shows.

  1. EdOptions Academy teachers provide weekly data reports to parents and students

Parents and other caregivers are a critical part of the education equation, and EdOptions Academy teachers work hard to keep them in the loop about students’ progress in online courses. Teachers send out weekly progress reports that include current grades; course end-date reminders; recommendations concerning student pace, progress, and performance; and remediation/interventions as needed for parents/guardians to review. These reports are a great way to ensure that caregivers, students, and teachers are all on the same page and to allow educators to quickly address any red flags before students fall behind.

Interested in learning more about the student experience in EdOptions Academy courses? Check out this video from Instructional Lead Kelli Norwood to hear about how EdOptions Academy teachers work with students on a day-to-day basis, or take a look at the Top Six Ways a Virtual Program Can Improve Student Achievement!