Middle School Teacher
Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education, Olivet College; Master of Arts, Special Education, Western Governors University
Mrs. Ries is a sixth-grade math teacher at Michigan Connections Academy. She has been teaching for over seven years and has been with Michigan Connections Academy since 2015. Mrs. Ries shares more below.
Why I Became A Teacher
I’ve wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been drawn to helping students who are not successful with a typical educational path. After college, I was a teaching assistant in preschool classrooms for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and worked for a YMCA camp. My first year as a teacher I worked with grades 4–6 at a Montessori school. I am very passionate about helping all students succeed.
The Online School Experience
I love being able to spend my entire day helping students grasp math standards. Without the typical classroom management difficulties, we get to focus on necessary skills for much more of our day. I can reach students individually more than ever. I feel more connected to my colleagues because we check in frequently about student concerns and work together to develop plans for student success.
I offer a minimum of three whole group math LiveLesson® sessions each week. Students are also invited to numerous small groups as needed. We use this time to work through math concepts together. Students lead our learning by sharing problem-solving methods over the microphone. They are often able to work in small groups together to review problems. We use webcams and microphones during LiveLesson sessions, as well as play a variety of educational games during our time. I also provide a recording with each math lesson for students. Students can view these recordings if reading the lesson material is a struggle. I’ve spent time creating a visual math map to help guide students through our grade 6 curriculum and focus on essential standards.
I love to read as often as I can. I have two young daughters, and we love visiting the library together. I enjoy working on our 100-year-old house and baking on the weekends. My family often spends time at Houghton Lake or Lake Michigan in the summer.
The skills needed to be successful in online learning at Michigan Connections Academy will prepare students to be successful in the future. Our students learn organizational skills, self-motivation skills, and self-advocacy skills. These will help them get ahead of their peers in a future that is more and more online.
— Ms. Ries