Teacher Perspectives: Online vs. Traditional Private School
Is your family looking for a more suitable and rewarding learning experience? Consider the many perks of an online private school education. A recent post about the differences between traditional and online private school explained how experienced students are benefiting from switching to online learning in a private college preparatory school. Now, it’s time to get some teacher perspectives!
We’ve compiled a few more differences below, with insight from Jodi Mallia and Heather Dear, two former bricks-and-mortar private schoolteachers who currently teach at the online private school International Connections Academy (iNaCA).
A Diverse Community
One of the unique things about attending an online private school is that students have the opportunity to learn within a diverse community. Unlike some primarily exclusive traditional private schools, iNaCA is open to families across the U.S. and worldwide, including expats and others living abroad! Through a diverse online classroom, your student can build international friendships while gaining a wide range of perspectives and ideas.
Jodi: “I feel like I go on a field trip every day. Our students at iNaCA live all over the world, so a student can be in a lesson at home with a classmate from [a place like] Indonesia, China, Romania, or Mexico. It’s really neat that they get to learn what life is like in other parts of the country. That’s not something that a bricks-and-mortar school could offer.”
Without a physical classroom to manage, online private schoolteachers often have more opportunities to help and work with each student individually. Many iNaCA students tells us that they have developed meaningful relationships with their teachers through one-on-one interaction and support. A high-quality and affordable online private school like iNaCA will provide plenty of tools—email, real-time online classrooms, and instant messaging—that enable students and teachers to quickly connect.
Heather: “Students really do have the time to build relationships with teachers one-one-one [in online private school]. They can call us at any point when they get stuck or have a question. It’s definitely a huge reward when I work with a student one-on-one over the phone, in a real-time online classroom, or through Skype and then he or she says that something finally clicked.”
Jodi: “It can be challenging for teachers [in a physical classroom] to be surrounded by students of all different levels of learning. In an online setting, students can have that one-on-one time with the teacher without the pressure of what their friends are going to think of them.”
An Enhanced Learning Experience
At an online private school, students get a chance to learn with modern and engaging technology, in addition to textbooks. Not only does this enhance their learning experience, but also it’s a great way for them to prepare for college and the workforce. With the option to learn where there’s an internet connection, iNaCA students can keep up with schoolwork even if they relocate to a different state or country. Connexus®, the school’s easy-to-use hands-on online education management system, provides 24-hour access to courses and a wide range of helpful resources.
Jodi: “It seems that in the [traditional] classroom, the supplies are sometimes still from the 1960s or the ’70s—not always fresh and current. At iNaCA, we are very up to date and try to make sure that everything the student is seeing is something that they can use in the real word. We try to get them ready for the real world now, versus in a few years.”
Dedication to Success
Sometimes teachers in a traditional setting are responsible for several supplemental duties, such as lunch moderation and behavior management. In an online private school, teachers can dedicate their time fully to teaching and helping students succeed. iNaCA teachers strive to regularly reach out to both students and parents to discuss progress and comprehension, answer questions, and help with future career and future goals.
Heather: “The passion behind the desire to see a student succeed is in every single teacher at the school. If we notice that someone is struggling or someone reaches out, we are always here and always willing to find a way and time to work with him or her. We will give students the help and tools that they need to succeed at a level that will definitely further their academic progress.”
Online private school can be a more personalized, engaging, and supportive option for many students. And parents are able to get a front-row seat to their child’s academic journey!
Online private school parents, what do you think are the biggest differences between a traditional private school and an online private school education? What advice would you give to other families who are thinking about making the switch? We want to hear from you—share your thoughts in the comments!