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Personal Connections in Virtual Learning: Get to Know EdOptions Academy Teacher Kristin von Tschirschky

Personal Connections in Virtual Learning: Get to Know EdOptions Academy Teacher Kristin von Tschirschky

Just because virtual teachers don’t spend time with their students in-person doesn’t mean that they don’t make meaningful connections. In fact, sometimes, the virtual environment, where teachers and students work together on a much more one-on-one basis than in a traditional classroom, lends itself to building even closer connections and, in turn, creating even more of those aha moments every educator loves to witness.

At Edmentum, putting relationships first in online learning is always a top priority. With technology playing a growing role in nearly every aspect of day-to-day life, the way that we’re all communicating is evolving—and we believe that online courses can reflect this. Our team of outstanding virtual teachers is the backbone of student success in our fully accredited virtual school, EdOptions Academy. Our teachers are from your state, often from neighboring districts. They are state-certified classroom teachers with at least three years of classroom experience, and they receive extensive training in online education and virtual instruction after joining the EdOptions Academy team. They are real educators, with real passion for helping each one of their students achieve those lightbulb moments that lead to positive long-term academic and career outcomes.

Check out what one of our EdOptions Academy English language arts instructors, Kristin von Tschirschky, has to say about what motivates her to work in education, what her job as a virtual teacher involves, and why she loves working with EdOptions Academy students!

Share a little about your background in education. Where did you go to college, and what degree(s) do you hold? What schools/districts did you work at prior to EdOptions Academy, and what roles have your held?

I went to the University of Florida and received my bachelor’s in English, then attended University of South Florida and earned my Master of Arts in teaching, and then went on to Saint Leo University and earned my master’s in educational leadership. In 2006, I started teaching middle school language arts in a small school district in Florida. From there, I decided I wanted to try virtual teaching, so I became a high school English teacher with Florida Virtual School. I worked at FLVS for almost 10 years and held multiple positions, including learning specialist, which allowed me to travel the country training virtual teachers.

Being an educator takes a lot of passion. What’s your “why” for having pursued a career in education?

I had a difficult time fitting in when I was in school, which caused me to become distracted with social situations and not focus on learning. As a virtual teacher, I interact with many different types of students, and some of those students remind me of myself: good student, likes school, but not the most comfortable in social situations. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help so many different types of learners, and I can’t help but think how much I would have benefitted from a program like EdOptions Academy when I was a student.

Why did you choose to start teaching online courses for EdOptions Academy?

I wanted to teach for EdOptions Academy because of the student-centered approach and the endless opportunities to make a difference.

What is your favorite thing about being an EdOptions Academy teacher?

I love being able to work with my students one-on-one to help them achieve their academic goals through individualized instruction.

What do you do to get to know your EdOptions Academy students and make sure that you develop a real relationship with them?

From the start, I ask questions about their interests and get to know them as people and not just as students. As a teacher, I believe connecting with students and taking an interest in their lives is just as (if not more) important as the actual teaching of curriculum. Some students don’t have a positive adult influence in their lives, and if I become one for them, that means I’ve done my job. 

What is your proudest moment as an EdOptions Academy teacher so far?

My proudest moment as an EdOptions Academy teacher has to be when I worked with a student who was quite a few grade levels behind when he first started the course. I knew this was going to be a challenge, so I asked my colleagues for help. A few of us worked with him in different ways to identify the gaps, provide individualized instruction based on his needs, and bring him up to speed so he could successfully complete the semester. I watched this student transform into a confident reader and writer, something he was not when he first started the course. The power of collaboration is truly remarkable, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Want to learn more? Find out how you can bring virtual learning to life and enhance, expand, and extend your school’s or districts’ offerings with flexible and fully accredited digital learning solutions from Edmentum’s EdOptions Academy!