Student Focus

You Never Know Who You’re Teaching

By on May 28th, 2014

inspirationFor the first time, my wife and I built a house from the ground up. For those who have never done it, it can be a very daunting experience. What you are doing is looking at the potential of what the house should look like instead of knowing what it actually looks like. You start off with a plan and as things arise, the plan can change. In addition to the building itself, you are also choosing the area that is best for your family. There is no guarantee that area will continue to be safe, have good schools, etc. five or 10 years down the road. Essentially, you are making a gamble to reside in a specific house in a specific area.

All of this got me thinking about how similar it is to teaching. Every student who walks into our classrooms (or who logs in for some of us) has the potential to be anyone he/she wants to be. As educators, we have the ability to make a positive impact on our students’ lives that will benefit them for years to come. Continue reading

Summer Reading: Sunshine State Young Reader Awards

By on May 16th, 2014

SSYRA blog coverI don’t know about you, but I look forward to May each and every year!  Why, you ask?

Picture this: children standing outside the public library’s automatic sliding doors during the month of May. Sweat beading down their young faces as they grip in their hands the list of all lists, the Sunshine State Young Reader Awards (SSYRA) book list for 2014! Will my book be on the shelf?

The Sunshine State books are coveted and hoarded by children all over the state of Florida each year. These titles literally fly off the shelves of stores and public libraries. Libraries have wait lists 50 students long waiting for the popular titles to come available. stocks up on these books and Barnes & Noble piles these books 10 deep on tables with the title “Sunshine State Award Books” each summer knowing families are looking specifically for these hot titles! Continue reading

Meet FLVS Student Sarah Garvis

By on May 8th, 2014

sarahgarvin coverShe’s the History Club President, a Young Marine Corporal, and about to hold a Bachelors of Theology degree before her own high school diploma. Who is this superstar? It’s Florida Virtual School student Sarah Garvis!

Sarah has been taking classes with FLVS since she was in middle school and has recently concluded her coursework with the Law Studies course.

“I have always been fascinated by government and I have such a high respect for it. I admire how the government systems run and this class taught me so much!” said Sarah.
Continue reading

Giving Yourself a Helping Hand

By on March 17th, 2014

I’m not really good at math. Once I understand the general concept, I’m completely fine, but whew…sometimes it takes me a little while to get there. This is definitely an area in my life where I continually have to battle problems and find solutions (literally). At times I find that I really don’t “get” something, so I keep re-reading the same information. Then I go over it again and again. Sometimes I just find that the explanation still doesn’t click with me or with my learning style. At times like these, I find that I essentially have two options: I can keep going over the information in the hopes that it finally clicks, or I can ask for a little help.

As a teenager, my first reaction to asking someone for help is often “Nah, I’ll take care of it.” Sometimes, that’s fine; we shouldn’t depend on others to solve our problems for us all the time (plus, it’s human to fail; we can’t overreact every time an obstacle pops up and blocks our path). Continue reading

Secret Sauce to Online Schoolwork Motivation

By on March 10th, 2014

starbucksSo, have you figured out all the perks of going to school online yet? Obviously, you can do your school work any time of the day that suits you, but it is the “anywhere” perk that I find awesome. My first two years of college I spent at a physical college campus. The second two years I went to college online. This allowed me to work full-time during the day (much like some of you go to school during the day) and then complete my college work at night and on weekends.

Maybe this isn’t something an FLVS staff member should admit, but hey, I’ll be honest – most Saturdays, the very last thing I wanted to do was schoolwork. Can you relate? Continue reading

Stop, Collaborate, and Listen

By on February 26th, 2014

collaborationDoing Virtual Doesn’t Mean Doing it Alone!

When people think virtual, what do you think comes to mind? Prior to my experience at FLVS, I thought of sitting alone in front of the computer, reading lessons, responding to discussion boards, and checking email. The common denominator behind all of my thoughts was that you do it alone. While virtual education primarily places responsibility on the learner, there is a debatably larger need to collaborate to be successful.

At FLVS, students are required to collaborate with one another at least one time within each segment/semester. Many families, at first glance, think this is a demanding request or an off-the-wall requirement, because of their initial thoughts about virtual education. What they find is that they wonder why they didn’t start collaborating sooner. Continue reading

Meet Zoe, Pageant Queen and Non-Profit Founder

By on February 21st, 2014

ZoeZoe Mignone, a FLVS Full Time senior, has accomplished quite a bit in her 17 years. She has been a mentor, triathlon participant, advocate, pageant queen, and has even started her own non-profit organization! Oh, and, in case you couldn’t guess – she’s also a very active student with FLVS Full Time.

In 7th grade, Zoe became a mentor for an organization called Girls on the Run and helped advocate for children in Teen Court. At the age of 12, she started doing triathlons and quickly realized that triathlons were very expensive to train for and to participate in. That was when her idea was sparked – working with her friends and her mother, she put together the foundation for her own non-profit organization called Setting an Example. Describing her efforts, Zoe states, “My vision for it is all my own. I’ve always had a distinct vision.” Continue reading

Everyone Needs a Coach

By on February 6th, 2014

coachI’m a Georgia Bulldog fan…I’ll just go ahead and say that. I’m not a huge football fan where I am glued to the TV on the weekends, but I do enjoy a good game and I certainly enjoy watching my team play. I am always fascinated by the week-to-week changes in a team.

Some weeks I think my team will make it to the National Championship game, and other weeks I wonder if this is their first game. And if anything has made it clear that you can never know what to expect from a team, it was last Sunday’s Super Bowl game!

But regardless of how the team performs, there is ultimately one person who is held accountable for the outcome: the coach. Continue reading

Celebrate National School Counseling Week

By on February 4th, 2014

school counselorNational School Counseling Week is February 3-7, 2014.

School counselors are certified school professionals who specialize in helping students make decisions about their personal and educational needs while providing information about colleges and other life choices. The school counseling profession started about 100 years ago with caring teachers that helped their students plan for the future. In the early 1900s, students began to have more educational and occupational options so school counseling became its own profession.

The role of the counselor has changed over the years, but the focus remains the same. School counselors help all students in the areas of academic achievement, personal/social development, and career development, ensuring today’s students become the productive, well-adjusted adults of tomorrow. Continue reading