My Writing Timeline

This post was written by Natalie, a student in the FLVS Creative Writing Club.

Blog_Creative_WritingWhen I was much, much younger, I saw writing as a chore. There’s not a lot a 7-year-old girl being homeschooled in southwest Florida had to write about, and I certainly didn’t do much of it.

As I grew older, the process of writing morphed from a chore into a helpful emotional outlet and then into a hobby. Although I’ve never been a serious, hardcore dedicated writer, I can say that writing definitely should be credited for its impact in my life.

The earliest I can remember writing would be in my tween years. As most people behave when going through that time in their lives, I could get quite emotional and crave an outlet to vent my frustrations or just write a poem expressing my honest feelings.

I read a ton of books back then and can attribute a lot of my literacy skills to my reading. I kept diary after diary for a few years and grew my writing skills without even realizing it. Writing about anything going on in my life made me think about events and interactions more deeply than I ever had before. Continue reading


The Beauty of Letting Go

Change

Do you order the same exact dish from your favorite restaurant every single time? Do you listen to the same music or watch the same movies? Yep, that was me – same dish, same style of dress in multiple colors, and 20 bottles of nail polish in similar shades of pink.

Yes, I was in the dreaded comfort zone, and loving every minute of it. But as wonderful and safe as comfort zones are, they can also be dangerous.

If we stay in our comfort zones for too long, we fail to grow – both personally and professionally – which is never a good thing.

A totally unexpected thing happened this past October. Continue reading


Why Every Teacher Should Go See “Hidden Figures”

Hidden FiguresLast month I saw the movie “Hidden Figures” and I was so incredibly inspired.

I am a former English teacher, so my love is words and writing and reading. But I ventured to see this movie because it empowers women and sheds light on some pretty amazing mathematicians who had the power to make this word-loving English teacher a fan of math.  I mean, as a teacher I’ve always loved data, but for me, seeing this movie reinforced why numbers are just as important as words.

We look at data a lot in education, but most of the time I believe we are just looking at numbers and not really grasping the full story data can tell us.

Data does tell a story.

Sometimes it’s a story we don’t want to hear; sometimes it’s a story we already know and we’re just validated. Sometimes it’s a story we never gave any thought and a whole new path is opened for us. If the data you look at regularly is just numbers on a screen and it’s not telling you a story, maybe some insights from “Hidden Figures” will help. Continue reading


FLVS Attending SXSWedu Conference

SXSWeduOn March 6-9, 2017, Dr. Jodi Marshall, the Executive Vice President of Business and School Solutions at Florida Virtual School, and Mawi Asgedom, CEO of Mawi Learning, will be speaking at the 2017 SXSWedu Conference & Festival in Austin, Texas.

Together, the presenters will share how students set themselves up for success with a suite of powerful leadership courses offered by FLVS and Mawi Learning.

Presenting on How to Create Leaders in an Online World, Jodi and Mawi will explain how to virtually prepare students for leadership roles now and in the future.  Continue reading


Supporting Access to Online Education for All

Digital Learning DayToday is Digital Learning Day!

It’s a day when the whole nation celebrates all the wonderful benefits of online learning and digital literacy.

You know, everything from the cool and advanced technology of courses and anytime learning, to the digital literacy skills that online learning provides to strengthen a student’s learning experience.

This not only includes finding and learning from digital content, but also creating authentic digital content, and communicating or sharing it in multiple formats.

It also includes valuable soft-skills that today’s employers are asking for – like time management and being efficient in using online resources.

While we are thrilled to be celebrating today with other online learning providers, families, and students, we at FLVS have to admit that we celebrate this stuff everyday!

We can’t help it – our passion for online education comes from our awesome students and families who we serve. It doesn’t take long to see the difference we make in students’ lives, and get excited about what we can do next in order to keep our students thriving. Continue reading


6 Ways to Handle School-Related Stress

FLVS_Blog_SchoolStressStressed out about upcoming exams? Thinking ahead to AP or EOC (End-of-Course) exams? Graduating this year and still finishing scholarship essays or college applications?

Don’t stress! These tips from two 11th grade students at FLVS can help. Here’s what Tamar and Jade have to say to help you stay on track:

As students adjust to spring school schedules, the second semester often brings a higher level of stress. It can be very difficult to get used to having new subjects, new teachers, and going back to a structured routine.

Unfortunately, many students buckle under the pressure. If you are one of those students, don’t let stress become overwhelming!

Here are six quick ways to handle school-related stress. Continue reading


How Career & Technical Education Changed My Life

CTE_Blog_CoverIn honor of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, I would like to reflect on the influence CTE has had on my life – even though I didn’t realize it until a decade later.

As a teenager, I wasn’t a big fan of school. Classes, homework, and way too much science! I couldn’t stand it.

However, every time I left my rural campus to assist nurses at the local hospital, I felt the thrill of escape and the fun of doing something new. So, for all the wrong reasons, I enrolled in my high school’s nursing program and was quickly on my way to plenty of time not in school. The perfect plan!

It didn’t take long for me to learn my first CTE lesson: there is much more to a nursing program than wearing scrubs and getting out of class. I’d signed up for a daily, three-hour block of anatomy and physiology, as well as an introduction to nursing skills. Yep, my brilliant plan to escape school somehow locked me into three hours of science a day. Continue reading


FLVS Students and Staff Give Back

Random Acts of KindnessRandom acts of kindness are enough to make anyone’s day.

Whether it is holding a door open, paying it forward in line at Starbucks, or helping someone carry in groceries, we all have the capacity to be kind on a daily basis. This year, in order to celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Day (February 17), we spoke with some awesome FLVS students that really know what it means to be caring and kind.

The Creative Writing club is participating in an ongoing service project that started in February and runs through March. There are many ways that students of the club can help out. They can donate books, read to someone, help out at the library, or even volunteer as a reading, writing, or English tutor. So far, the Creating Writing Club members have donated 25 books.

The STEM/Science Club at FLVS recently participated in a clothing drive. Sometimes it can be easy to take something as simple as the clothes on our back for granted. Continue reading


Visiting the Orlando Science Center

This post was originally published on the blog of an FLVS Flex Elementary parent. 

Orlando Science Center Field TripRea is homeschooled and a part-time elementary student at Florida Virtual School. I supplement the rest of her life with educational goodness…at least I try.

Rea’s school recently planned a state-wide field trip. These field trips took place in six different cities across the state. We opted for the Orlando one, since Rea’s teacher would be there. So, the kids and I got up early on Friday morning and drove to the Orlando Science Center.

If you have never been, and happen to be in the area, GO! It’s so cool! This place is four floors of interactive science exhibits. I’ll be honest, my son was NOT happy that I dragged him along with his sister. He told me many times he wished he was at his school.

He looked at the map with me, and he decided seeing dinosaurs wouldn’t be too bad. His grumpy attitude disappeared when we made it up to the fourth floor. The dinos did not disappoint. Continue reading


FLVS Corkboard: February Highlights

FLVS Corkboard February 2017

It’s February and we think you’re simply going to LOVE all that FLVS has to offer!

First, we want to remind you that Presidents’ Day is just around the corner. Please note that Monday, Feb. 20 and is a designated holiday break for all FLVS instructors and support staff.

After the long weekend, there are all kinds of opportunities that extend beyond the classroom or courses you select. Here are a few that FLVS is proud to sponsor:

Digital Learning Day

Celebrate Digital Learning Day (DLD) with FLVS next Thursday, Feb. 23. Digital learning can involve any instructional practice that uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience. With digital advances ranging from educational apps to new online courses and programs, DLD is a day to keep up with the latest in online education. Be sure to check out our social media pages on this special day next week as we feature a DLD Elementary Takeover on the FLVS Instagram page. Viewers will be able to see “a day in the life” of our very own FLVS elementary students. Connect with us @floridavirtualschool to make sure you don’t miss it!

Continue reading