Image of Ms. Martin

Holly Martin

Special Education Teacher

Bachelor’s Degree, Education, Northwest Missouri State University; Master’s Degree, Education, Morningside University

Holly Martin started teaching in 1998 and joined Iowa Connections Academy in 2022. She teaches special education to students in high school.

Why She Became a Teacher

According to Ms. Martin, “I became a teacher because I believe in kids. I became a special education teacher because I have always been a fan of the underdog. I believe in leveling the playing field.”

“That moment when the proverbial light bulb turns on for a student and that little click happens and a skill, tool, or strategy pops into place . . . is absolutely the best moment in time. Those moments are pure joy. They truly outweigh the battles.”

The Online School Experience at Iowa Connections Academy

Reports Ms. Martin, “I reach out to my students all the time . . . [and] make the effort to build relationships with them. I try very hard to foster a connection with them that is supportive of success. I encourage them to engage with their general education content teachers.

“I often like to set mini goals for my students. ‘Before you come to the next lesson, let’s make sure you have this, and this done.’ This not only gives them a to-do list, but it also tells them I’m paying attention and watching all the time. 

“My favorite field trip has been ice skating. Not only did I ice skate for the first time, but one of my students did. It was a wonderful time. . . . It’s incredibly hard to try something new, and if we ask students to do that every day, we should be able to do it ourselves.”

Message for Families Considering Online School

Ms. Martin believes “the role of Learning Coach is essential to the success of your child. I don’t believe that’s said as much as it needs to be said. . . . Learning Coach Central is absolutely full of resources to help you.

“I believe a high school diploma opens doors. . . . The ability to connect to resources and utilize them independently also opens doors. Knowing how to use [this school’s] resources and make them work for you is a skill set all on its own.” 

Utilizing an [online] system like ours is an invaluable skill, because lots of employers utilize systems like this.

— Ms. Martin

Ms. Martin’s Personal Interests

According to Ms. Martin, “I love to cook, barbecue, and spend time with my friends and family, especially my grandchildren. I am a caregiver for my 80-year-old father, and I live with him and my pit bull, Zeke, and cat, Boomer. I have four adult children and almost eight grandchildren. I very much enjoy their shenanigans and activities.”