What is the definition of a teacher?
As described in many dictionaries, a teacher is a person who teaches or instructs, especially as a profession.
While this definition is accurate, I hope you will agree with me that it does not sufficiently describe all that a teacher embodies.
This week, Florida Virtual School is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week, and I’d like to expand on the definition of a teacher.
At FLVS, our teachers are superheroes. While they do not wear eye masks or fancy capes, they possess special super powers. They are passionate and dedicated to working with all students, recognizing that each learner is unique and has individual strengths and needs. They go beyond educating—they listen, guide, support, and inspire.
We recently asked our staff to come up with their own definition of a teacher. Here are a few of the responses we received to our “A Teacher is…” challenge: Continue reading
My mom was blessed with the baking and hospitality gene. As far back as I can recall, she loved to play hostess—still does, and when people come over, she has a quiet way of honoring them and making them feel special. It shows in the details, from a sparkling clean house to using the good dishes and serving delectable treats.
I remember my mom volunteered to be the class mom for Mrs. Kast’s second grade class in New York. I glowed whenever she’d come into my classroom to drop off some cut outs for a project we were working on, or when she’d bring in homemade cupcakes for a class party. And while I just thought I had the coolest mom in the world, she had sneakily found a way to stay connected to me during the school day.
On Saturday, November 19, I had the privilege of watching the GOES-R weather satellite launch from Kennedy Space Center.
Now you may be wondering what GOES-R stands for. It’s the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, a satellite system that orbits the earth and sends data back to National Weather Service computers. The R indicates what number or version the GOES satellite is on, so there have already been versions A-R. GOES-S is slated to launch next year and is the twin to GOES-R.
Of course, weather satellites get launched all the time, so why would this one be any more special than the others?
Well, right now we receive images of satellite scans every 30 minutes or so. The GOES-R satellite will provide data at least every five minutes, and in some circumstances every 30 seconds! So not only will it be five times faster than current weather satellites, but it will also gather three times more data and it will have four times better resolution. Continue reading
Hello FLVS peeps!
I had the distinct honor of representing FLVS at the OSIRIS REx rocket launch a few weeks ago.
Now if you’re wondering what exactly that means, OSIRIS REx stands for NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. That’s a mouthful, right?
In a nutshell, NASA is sending a spacecraft to an asteroid named Bennu. Once it reaches Bennu (after a trip lasting two years), the spacecraft will orbit the asteroid for about a year, find the perfect place to collect about 80 grams of the rock, and head back home, arriving back to Earth in 2023.
It won’t actually land on the asteroid, but instead hover over it – and with the help of Canada and their amazing knowledge of spacecraft arms – will grab a small sample. (To put this in perspective, 80 grams is about the equivalent of 80 Skittle candies.)
So why are we going to Bennu? Continue reading
That’s how long I taught in a brick-and-mortar classroom before joining FLVS. While a lot has changed since I taught in the classroom, there are still some common challenges that were faced by teachers during my time and are still faced by teachers today – the biggest one being technology.
I remember computers being placed in my classroom and all the information I was supposed to take in at once. I was introduced to DOS, Windows, BASIC, Word Perfect Suite (with reveal codes), Windows, Office, HTML, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc, etc, etc…never ending! With each one, just when I started to feel comfortable using it myself, a new one would come.
August 26th is “Women’s Equality Day,” so what better time than today to reflect back on the women who have made a difference in this world.
For me, a very special woman comes to mind. She was a teacher from Texas who changed so many lives and affected so many other teachers and students. Her name was Rita Pierson. And though I never met her, listening to her talk about teaching and learning provided me with the foundation I try to base my work on every day.
Mrs. Pierson gave a Ted Talk back in May 2013 that now has almost 5 million views. In her talk she shared some of the best advice I’ve ever heard about teaching. Here are just some of the beautiful words Rita shared with us and just a few reasons why she is a woman I admire greatly.
Crazy idea, right? It’s one that Mars scientists are doing on the MAVEN mission.
MAVEN stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN and the goal is to try and figure out what happened to Mars’ atmosphere millions of years ago.
Scientists know Mars at one time resembled Earth, with an atmosphere and flowing water. With MAVEN, they will attempt to work backwards and find out how the atmosphere and dynamo was lost.
I was lucky enough to be accepted into the MAVEN Ambassador Class of 2015 and I attended a week-long workshop with 29 other teachers to find out more about this cool mission. Continue reading
Learning that is student-centered, collaborative, sustained and data-driven is what drives success.
This is the year that every department and individual at FLVS is going to refocus. For our teachers, being able to identify and articulate professional learning goals directly impacts student learning, mastery, and performance.
This is what student-centered professional learning is all about.
Will you be hitting the reset button?
Educators, will you be adding to your classroom and personal routines? Parents, will you be seeking new ways to be involved in your child’s education? Students, are you setting goals or hoping to improve your study habits?
Here is my list of New Year’s resolutions as a virtual instructor: Continue reading