So You Want to Be (or already are) an Online Educator?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by catnfiddle, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. JesusIsMyTeach

    JesusIsMyTeach Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2019

    Oh wow!! I've been praying about making this my next chapter and I see this thread just now! I'll be reading the posts to see what others have to say about online teaching.
     
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  2. JesusIsMyTeach

    JesusIsMyTeach Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2019

    Does anyone work for Connections Academy or K12? If so, what are you experiences? Do they pay on time?
     
  3. irishrose

    irishrose Rookie

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    Jan 5, 2020

    Push for that curriculum! That happened to me once and I didn't get a printed curriculum map til 2 months before end of school!! It was awful, since I was also a brand-new teacher! Looking back, I should have pushed way harder to get it sooner. How can one be expected to do a good job with no target goals or framework!
     
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  4. Clovisdad

    Clovisdad Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2020

    I am a new SPED m/m teacher and have a video interview for an online Special Ed. teaching position this coming Tuesday. I have read most of the posts/replies in this thread- several times.
    Q: I usually do well in interviews. I won't share why I'm not in a teaching position at the moment, but, I will share that it is because of my own decision to leave my previous B/M school SDC job. Is there anything notable I should be prepared to answer during my interview? I have read countless bad stories of online teaching and am a little concerned that admin simply overloads and bullies the teachers to the point of quitting. However, I am aware most online reviews (for any job, service, item, etc.) come from those who were dissatisfied or unhappy with their experience. So, I am taking that into consideration and proceeding ahead with an open mind and a positive attitude.
    Any info or feedback will be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 9, 2020

    Your best bet when it comes to your concerns is to know what questions to ASK.
    • Is the curriculum pre-made and are you able to make adjustments for differentiation?
    • What is the school's definition of student engagement? How does the school support teachers who have students who refuse to engage?
    • Are Special Education teachers expected to team teach with specific General Education teachers or act as a pull-out resources for all subjects (personally, I loved the former)?
    • What are expectations for time spent working with students vs. maintaining IEPs and Progress Monitoring?
    Bear in mind that I am not a Special Education teacher but I worked (and continue to work) very closely with my counterparts.
     
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  6. Clovisdad

    Clovisdad Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2020

    I got the job!
    Had my SPED mild/moderate teacher HireVue (similar to Skype) online live interview yesterday with a very large online charter school company. I may have over-prepared (but how can one really do that?) from reading and watching too many helpful hints videos, writing things down, and finding just the right lighting and position to place my laptop so the background felt right to me. In any case, the interviewers were two (friendly looking) 40-50 something female admins from the SPED dept. who appeared in two separate smaller screens on my laptop screen. The experts try to emphasize looking into the camera, check my lighting, makeup (yes makeup, even for men), and trying not to say "Uh" "like" or "um" and to answer promptly without any awkward, lengthy pauses, etc. It's a lot.
    Here's what I did:
    • I wore a jacket and tie and a dark shirt. Wear dark, solid clothes for online interviews, it doesn't mess with the camera and you look more interesting.
    • I made sure to smile frequently at the right spots. Hard to remember that, just be cheerful; and I spoke in a bit higher voice than I might have without practicing.
    • I had my resume and cover letter ready to refer to in case interviewers didn't have it.
    • I had 3-5 post interview questions written down (many were answered during the course of the interview and I would never actually ask five questions, IMO, that's two or three too many).
    • I actually did tape "look at camera" and "don't say "um, uh" postits on top of my laptop, but, our mind learns to ignore those real fast, for the future, they're not worth it.
    • I "broke the fourth wall" so to speak by confiding to my interviewers that I know I'm supposed to look at the camera, but it is hard to not look at the interviewers, and that I had put the postits on top of my laptop as reminders. They seemed charmed.
    • I talked about practicing their curriculum software and could describe it by name and related my experience with it to them. Smiles from interviewers.
    • I took notes as they described their various types of schools because I was afraid they were going to quiz me about it at the end or something. They didn't, but I believe they could see I was taking notes. Probably a plus for me.
    • I had water with me and drank some, I made a joke, I laughed, I told them about how happy I was in my last job to get one of my kids extra gen. ed. inclusion time and that it touched me. I told them I strive and hope to get really proficient at teaching- so proficient that I would seem smooth, expert, and at-ease. I told them I was just human.
    • They didn't ask me "stumper" questions. They were easy questions- "tell me about your teaching experience?" What did you do that you are proud of? how do you organize your teaching materials and files? and so on. These schools use a computer-based digital algorithm that determines if your body language, appearance, verbage, facial expression, at-ease-ness, etc. meets their criteria. My research leads me to believe these online video interviews are looking for certain qualities that will go with being an online teacher more than they are deep pedagogical knowledge like- do you sound friendly, approachable, intelligent, curious, willing, happy, positive, down-to-earth, etc.?
    I asked a question that catnfiddle mentioned as to whether students could get credit for simply logging on and clicking off without doing any work or whether real work was required. That question made interviewers slightly uneasy because I saw what appeared to be a micro-reaction of embarrassment. Yet, it worked in my favor as one interviewer answer that, yes, it used to be log-in, click-off, get credit. But no more. Students must work on the assignments to get credit. She seemed relieved and proud to tell me that and I suspect she realized that I had done a lot of research on their schools. Indeed, several reviewers of various online charter schools have similar tales of the log-in/click-off, get credit courses.
    The interviewers told me at the beginning that the interview was not for a specific job, it was just to create a pool of teachers for when they need them.
    I thought I would wait weeks or days to maybe get called in for the second, in-person, deeper interview, if at all. Then I thought I would next be asked to perform an online PowerPoint lesson, and then they might decide about me.
    That's not what happened.
    Today, the school called and offered me a job! I accepted. I start the one hundred percent online training week Tuesday. Honestly, I don't know why they offered me a job, or why so soon and easy like this. Maybe they really do need online SPED teachers? I consider myself a pretty tough grader and I gave myself a B-minus on my interview performance. But I write a helluva resume and cover letter- I always get lots of interviews.
    I will miss seeing the kids smiling faces and playing with them like I did in my face-to-face classroom. But this is a new journey for me, and I am also a very new teacher at age 61. Thanks, catnfiddle and to all of you. I will answer any questions you have within reason, but I'm going to be pretty busy for a while very soon.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  7. Jr1973

    Jr1973 Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2020

    If I am breaking a rule by asking about a soecidic school I apologize. I'm still new to all this teacher stuff. I want to work for an online school badly..... I am tired of reading what are likely, bitter reviews. Can anyone tell me what it is like working for k12? Specifically one of the Texas branches of k12 as a teacher? I fell into a terrible brick and mortar job (school violence issues, no support or mentoring for a new teacher) I saw one of my students kick the head of another student in my classroom until he was hospitalized. Admin didn't even ask if I was ok. I was not contracted and couldn't stay any more after that. Obvs not an issue everywhere and certainly not online.....but I just want to make sure of what the culture is really like. Any words are appreciated.
     
  8. Jr1973

    Jr1973 Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2020

    Update.... I have an interview tomorrow morning for an online HS science teacher position. I am so excited. I did the video interview and got moved to the next step. With the schools being closed I really need this (no sub jobs.....no $$$), especially with the COVID-19 stuff going on. I know I am not hired but I am excited because I have wanted to work for this company since my daughter graduated from there 4 years ago. Please send positive thoughts and prayers my way. I have been told I interview well but I am never happy with myself after interviews. I will let you all know the results when I find out. Whether I get the position or not I am super happy to at least get the shot at it. All of you be safe and I will update soon.
     
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  9. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Mar 27, 2020

    I thought about this thread the other day. I was like, hmmm everyone's an online educator now! :p
     
  10. Jr1973

    Jr1973 Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2020

    Update....got the position......totally excited......start orientation tomorrow. Disappointed in salary (big shock)...lol. what sage advice can y'all give the new guy
     
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  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Apr 13, 2020

    First of all, the salary shock is real. The idea is that you save money on clothes and gas is supposed to mitigate this. If you do go to your school's physical location, track your mileage. If they don't reimburse you, the IRS will.

    Will you have a mentor or at least someone who will help you for the first semester? My first year of teaching online was a nightmare, but once I found other teachers with more experience to help me, I thrived. Most online schools will hold your hand for at least Fall Semester.

    If there is one thing I can tell you, it's that you may feel like you are white-water rafting and have suddenly been tossed into the water. If this happens, the best thing you can do is lie back, point your toes, and follow the flow of what is happening around you. This mantra pulled me through many happy, successful years of teaching online. Now that we're under this quarantine, it shall serve me again.

    Please feel free to reach out with any random questions.
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 14, 2020

    That's super exciting! I have been teaching internationally for 11 years and return home this summer. I was looking at an online school in my state (I'm from California), but the school won't allow me to apply until I am back home....so, that decreases my chances since they start posting jobs in May and I won't be home until a couple of months after.

     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 14, 2020

    This is so appropriate for what we have all been thrown into!
     
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  14. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    Jul 15, 2020

    What are some good online schools to apply to? Any recommendations?
     
  15. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jul 16, 2020

    It depends on the state where you live and have your teaching license. A quick Google search for online charter schools in your state should help you get started. There are some nationwide franchises, such as Connections Academy, but many are from state to state. You'll need to do some research to decide if you want to apply.
     
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  16. Clovisdad

    Clovisdad Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2020

    Update: Ended my first semester as full time online SPED teacher. I'm actually a new teacher, also. This has been the BEST teaching experience I've ever had. I feel appreciated and have received several Hallmark e-cards from admin. complimenting me and showing their appreciation for my hard work. It's nice to be respected and noticed for my skill. Yes, I have to create and find my own curriculum, but the school wants me to teach only ELA and math and only for IEP goals. So, I don't need a progressive curriculum with a start/end point. There is a bank of lessons if I care to use them and I've tried a few. But mine seemed just as good or better which was a pleasant validation. The kids were fun and there were many touching moments where a student exhibited learning. The older students were sad to leave me at the end of the year and I guess that's the best compliment a teacher can get. Anyway, this year I begin my online, California Clear Credential program along with full time teaching. It will be a busy year. Thanks to all of you!

     
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  17. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Aug 25, 2020

    Day 2 of Fancy Completely Virtual School.

    I like it, but man, if I feel like tech support!

    The fact that it's kindergarteners and a lot of brand-new parents isn't helping. On the bright side, I think I will master the curriculum just by trying to figure everything out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
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  18. Mark Henry

    Mark Henry New Member

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    Sep 4, 2020

    Hello, Every one
     
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  19. chrisnatch

    chrisnatch New Member

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    Sep 24, 2020 at 11:27 AM

    I have been at my virtual school for about 6 months now! It is going well. When I started there I worked in an office, but they closed the office and I now work from home full time. It is lovely being able to sleep until 7:30 AM, and then work in leggings and a hoodie most days! Sometimes I do go in person places for meetings or for testing, and I wear professional attire on those days only.

    I would get paid more in a regular district/traditional school, but overall I did get a small raise over what I used to make when I lived in NC.
     
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  20. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 24, 2020 at 12:19 PM

    Very cool! My former online teaching job didn't pay as well as my current one (temporarily remote), but I saved money on wardrobe, gas, and lunches.
     

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