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Home » From the Field

Top 10 Reasons I Love Working with LEARN’s Online Teachers

Submitted by on February 7, 2012 – 9:56 pm 11 Comments | 8,834 views

by Dianne Conrod

Creative Commons license

I wish to take the opportunity provided by Quebec’s Teacher Appreciation Week (February 5 – 11, 2012), to salute the online teachers with whom I have the pleasure of working.  This year, LEARN provides synchronous online courses to twenty schools in five boards and a few private schools.  LEARN’s online teachers, Kerry Cule, Peggy Drolet, Audrey McGoldrick, Alessandra (Alex) Pasteris, Paul Rombough, and Andy Ross, are:

1 – Talented!  The above-mentioned individuals are very talented people who could be doing many other things but they choose to teach and their students are grateful!  They are experts in the subject areas they teach but have many talents and interests beyond these areas.  Ballroom dance, social media, sports, astronomy, website design, yoga, baking, and gardening are just some of the passions of these amazing teachers.

2 – Creative!  Problem solvers all, they tackle the challenges of working online with gusto.  They explore and push the limits of online tools.  They design innovative activities to engage students they can’t see.  Creativity and innovation are encouraged in their students, too.

3 – Enthusiastic about teaching and technology! These six wonderful teachers get very excited about online tools.  There are so many great web-based tools but when they find one that fits perfectly with how and what they teach, then I see some excited teachers.   Some of their favourite tools are blogs, VoiceThread, Explorelearning, GeoGebra, Google Docs and Prezi.

4 – Persistent!  I love their push to keep learning, discovering, and questioning, and helping students learn, discover and question for themselves.  They don’t give up… on kids, with tech issues, on what they believe in.  Some call it stubborn, but their persistence is what gets them and their students to the next level.

5-Inspiring!  They inspire me, their students and each other.  What amazing team players!  Every week at our staff meetings, there are at least two teachers who have something new and amazing to share about something they tried in class that they are excited about.  If a colleague has a question about something they need help with in class, others are anxious to share and support.

They also share to inspire the greater community through other work at LEARN. See #6.

6 – Hard working!  They work incredibly hard over long hours, as teachers do, to prepare for classes.  These teachers contribute beyond the teaching they do in the classroom.  Below are links to just a few samples of the fine work they do outside of the classroom:

Blog posts:  here, here, and here.

Some online teachers are also LEARN consultants responsible for maintaining the Social Sciences and Math and Sciences pages and Twitter feeds for  LEARN.

And others have participated in special projects featured on the LEARN site (you must be logged in to view some of these projects): Career development podcasts, Success Checker, Physics videos

7 – Student-focused!  It isn’t all about the teachers – the students take centre stage.  Whenever a teacher tells me about a creative activity in class, he/she always says, “The kids were amazing!”  They connect to, care for and develop mutual respect with these students even though they do not meet them face to face.  With smaller class sizes and the ease of communicating outside of class hours, there are many opportunities for online teachers to help students individually.

8 –Funny and positive!  Their enthusiasm and good humour is contagious!  I love sitting in on online classes.  I always learn something and I always laugh.  Classes are fun!  Students interact with their peers and teachers in a relaxed positive way.  Even on their bad days, LEARN’s teachers still talk about how much they love teaching online.

9 – Lifelong learners!  They love to learn. These online teachers are constantly growing and improving.  Whether in PD sessions, at conferences, through professional reading, in learning networks using social media, or in university courses, the teachers are always learning.  They learn from students and they learn from each other.

10 – Open!  Their hearts and minds are open to new ideas, students, criticism and differing opinions.  They are open to taking risks and making mistakes.  They model this openness to their classes so that the students are not afraid to try and fail either, learning from mistakes.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to Andy, Paul, Alex, Peggy, Audrey, Kerry and to all of the teachers in Quebec!  Thank you!

Please feel free to add comments of appreciation for the teachers you work with.

Dianne Conrod

 

11 Comments »

  • Audrey McGoldrick says:

    Dianne, I love working with online teachers for the exact same reasons! Truly I cannot imagine a more dynamic, supportive team, and that includes you!

    • Dianne says:

      We certainly are a mutual admiration society! There are more surprises still to come for Teacher Appreciation Week.

  • Kerry says:

    Awww…we love you too, Dianne! Thanks so much for the beautiful post. As I have told you before, I feel like everything I’ve done in my professional career has been in order to get me prepared for this role.

  • Peggy says:

    Dianne, we could not be all these things without the support of you and LEARN. And of course our school contacts are so amazing. Thank you for all the great descriptions!! Thank you to all teachers for your support, your innovative ideas. Collaborating with each and everyone one of you make the on-line experience a positive and enriching experience!

    • Dianne says:

      Thank you, Peggy!

      I agree 100% with your comment about our amazing school contacts. This morning, I sent them all best wishes for Teacher Appreciation Week with this comment, “The LEARN online learning staff is very lucky to collaborate with such supportive schools across the province to help students achieve their academic goals.”

  • Sinead Roy says:

    Here at Servant’s House Christian Academy, we have had the benefit of working with LEARN teachers for several years. As a small school with very few resources, the medium of LEARN has allowed our students to connect not only with talented and dedicated teachers, but also with many other students of similar age and interests throughout the province, in a forum which would otherwise be unavailable to them. This has inspired them to excel in their efforts and aim for higher goals than many would have attempted otherwise. Thank you, LEARN for your wonderful teachers, and for those who work in the background, making all the other online resources available to us too.

    • Dianne says:

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Sinead!

      I appreciate your mention about those working in the background. We have a wonderful team at LEARN, and I consider all schools with which we work as part of that team.

      Dedicated! I should have included that trait in my top ten list, too!

  • Alice Campbell-Dell says:

    Bonaventure Polyvalent School is sincerely grateful for the support of ALL the educators at LEARN. Over the years we have had tremendous support from the on-line classroom service and this year LEARN support made our in-school entrepreneurship project, Closet Treasures, thrilling and exciting for the entire school. We are grateful for the professional talents of the on-line instructors who have not only served the needs of our students well, but generously offered their professional support to BPS staff members. From our perspective LEARN rocks! Thank you one and all from the depths of our Gaspesian hearts.

  • Margaret Dupuis says:

    Well Dianne, your comments truly tell the story of our online teachers. They are the most amazing people I have ever worked with. They push forward even when technical issues undermind their efforts, when students are struggling and find the work impossible, when they have so many other tasks to perform, I could go on and on. It is truly a privilege to watch them in action, to listen to their reports, to be part of their brainstorming activities. I learn so much from them.
    Thank you Andy, Alex, Peggy, Kerry, Audrey, and Paul for being so passionate about your work with the students, your creativity, your problem solving strategies and of course your love of teaching. You make our online school the success story that it is. We cannot however forget the driving force – you Dianne. I wish you all a great Teacher Appreciation Week

    • Dianne says:

      Thank you, Alice We at LEARN have learned, over our years of working together, how truly enormous your “Gaspesian hearts” are! I know how good Mary Stewart and the LEARN team felt about supporting the wonderful Closet Treasures project. Maybe you would consider a guest post in our blog later in the year to talk about it!

      Maggie – Thank you for adding your words or praise for our online teachers and our team. They are certainly deserving of recognition!