We are approaching the end of the school year and many high school seniors are facing important questions about their future like "What am I supposed to do now?"
The world has high demands of today’s high school graduates. Students need to be dynamic and self-motivated. They need the ability to set their own goals, recognize opportunity, and have the experience and ability to seize their own destiny. Saying good-bye to high school and entering the real world could be like walking out of ice and into fire.
As a teacher in an online school, I enjoy collaborating with our dedicated parents (Learning Coaches), and I embrace the technology that allows us to deliver engaging online instruction. Together we provide individual attention to our students and encourage them to take an active role in their own education. By managing their own learning careers at a virtual school, students are being equipped with many essential skills that will help them manage their lives more successfully. Skills like:
- Time Management — Quality online schooling at home provides the flexibility to use an individualized learning approach and to structure the school day according to the individual needs of the student. Schedule flexibility teaches students to manage their time responsibly and allows them to learn how to juggle extracurricular activities and appointments, or handle unexpected interruptions. They have the chance to realize that creating and adhering to their own schedule is crucial to their own success. And with the daily use of scheduling tools in an online learning environment, the student can be an active participant in managing his or her own time.
- Independent Study Skills — Most online school students learn how to chart their own paths and follow that direction in a manner that best suits their unique situations. By setting their own goals, they learn independence and responsibility. Many online schools provide opportunities for self-paced learning and uniquely teach students how to be independent in their studies—an important skill to have for the even more self-directed learning requirements of college.
- Life and Career Skills — An online learning environment fosters learning, communication, and technology skills that prepare students for the 21st century workforce. As online school students enter their virtual classroom every day, the use of technology becomes an essential part of completing their schoolwork, researching and organizing information for their next essay, and communicating with teachers and fellow classmates. So when students finally do apply for a job, their information, media, and technology knowledge is not a skill, it is simply intuitive.
By giving access to online, collaborative, and self-paced learning environments that teach students to manage their own learning careers, online schools can lay the foundation for a life full of learning. So when our online high school students graduate, they have the experience, the skills, and the academic knowledge to map out their own road to success.