What It’s Like to Teach Online Oct. 9, 2017

What It’s Like to Teach Online

Before I taught online, people weren’t really that interested in what I did at a brick-and-mortar school. Unlike teaching in traditional setting, when I mention that I’m an online high school teacher, people tend to be very surprised and ask me one (or all) of these questions:

“How does it work?”

“How many students do you have?”

“What do you mean they don’t GO to school?”

“Can you even see them?”

“What is your day like?”

“Do you just sit on the couch in your pajamas?”

It can be overwhelming to explain, because with this job it is often easier to show them how things are done than to explain it to them. Nonetheless, I do my best to share about my passion for virtual learning.

I explain that virtual school enrollment is tuition free, and it is an alternative for students who might desire to do more independent study due to personal and professional reasons. Students log in to do work in the online curriculum at their convenience. They are required to log in every school day and do work for certain hours as part of our school attendance policy.

When it comes to the number of students that I teach, I always say the number varies. I have a set of homeroom students that I meet up with online at least once of week to go over their progress in all their courses and to give them support and guidance. I also have students in my regular core and elective courses.

My work is different every day. There are days in which I am busy answering emails and teaching live sessions with Blackboard Collaborate, and there are other days in which I am collaborating with teachers to provide more school connectivity like field trips for the students. Being a teacher is an infinite job. That has not changed as I transitioned to a different medium of teaching.

I often wish that I could answer people with a simple sentence like, “I teach online,” and everyone would automatically “get it”. But as technology evolves and as more people begin to look into online learning options, I am pretty confident that more people will have fewer questions on how it all works.

- CalPac Faculty -