Teachers

Rock On: Expert Advice from Two Master Teachers

Every time I look back at my career as a teacher, I realize how far I have come.

What I find truly astounding is that what made the most impact in my practice was not learned in the resounding hallways of my Alma Mater or the momentous conference rooms of the many in-service training sessions I’ve completed, but interacting and networking with my peers. Sometimes I will get the best idea from asking a question or brainstorming in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) session.

And just like a movie flashback, I am back at the topic for this blog!

I wanted to ask some questions to our teachers that everyone else also asks. It was difficult to single out one or two teachers, because here at FLVS I feel that I am teaching in the middle of a rock festival and every teacher I know is a rock star!

To narrow it down, I reached out to two of our Teacher of the Year nominees, Amsler Burns and Kellie Shellenberger. 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


FLVS Attends GOES-R Satellite Launch

GOES R Satellite Blog PostOn 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


To Bennu and Back!

osiris-rex-educational-science-posterHello 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


FLVS Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week!

FLVSTAWTeacher Appreciation week is the one week per year where the focus is on what an important role our teachers play in the lives of our students.

We hope you take time this week (and every week) to reflect on the awesome ways in which teachers influence the future. Our virtual teachers at FLVS may receive virtual flowers and gifts of thanks, but I hope all of our instructors know that their impact on lives is very real.

At FLVS, our instructors use instructional strategies to personalize learning every day of the week, all day long. From the first Welcome Call where teachers establish the important bond needed to motivate and inspire, to the final call where encouragement and the password are given for the last assessment, our teachers personalize learning for students. Continue reading


What is Physical Science?

Physical Science
Most parents are familiar with biology, chemistry, and physics.

I like to think of physical science as a bridge to these courses. In the Physical Science course at FLVS, we take the concepts that students have learned from previous science experiences and prepare them for the higher-level science skills needed in future science courses and beyond.

The Florida Virtual School Physical Science course offers interactive activities and virtual labs to help students build science confidence. The course nurtures the science literacy the current generation will need to fix our next set of problems as a society. Continue reading


Becoming a Student Again with Astronomical Research

SpitzerLast year I was honored to be chosen as a NITARP teacher.

NITARP, short for the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, pairs teachers with astronomers from Caltech and NASA, and allows the teachers to do authentic astronomical research.

I thought this program would be something that was a little out of my comfort zone, as I only had classroom experience (like most science teachers), but I decided to apply anyway as it would be an educational experience. To my surprise, I was one of eight teachers that was accepted out of hundreds of applicants.

The teachers were split up into two teams, each with an astronomer to lead them. My team had educators from Boston, Colorado, and California and my astronomer, Varoujan Gorjian, was from Caltech and NASA. Continue reading


Unplug and Chill

unplug
Have you unplugged today? I mean really unplugged and walked away?

It is no secret that chronic stress will make you physically ill. As teachers, we are natural givers and put other’s needs in front of our own. We must remember to take time for ourselves. All of the work will be there when we get back. And when we return after our “me-time,” we will be equipped to engage our students with sheer awesomeness!

If you’re looking for some respite, make a schedule for yourself and force a “me-time” break. It will help to find a friend or colleague to keep you honest. (I know it can be hard to walk away sometimes.) You can do it!

Continue reading