Mindy Pyle is a high school math teacher at Ohio Connections Academy (OCA). She holds a bachelor’s degree in middle childhood education as well as a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. For a few years, Ms. Pyle served as OCA’s middle school assistant principal and successfully improved OCA achievement for all grade levels. In addition, the eighth grade scores met state averages in both the Ohio Achievement Assessment and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests. In 2014, she requested to return to her first love: being a math teacher. Ms. Pyle shares more below about what she loves about teaching at an online school.
“In an online environment, our focus is solely on the students. There are times that families ask, ‘When do we have a parent teacher conference?’ and I explain that we can have a conference as often as needed. As online teachers, we are focused on the student's achievement and work closely with our families to share successes and areas where the students need additional support. I have developed close ties with many of my students, including two former students who are now teachers. It is an amazing experience to work alongside my former students and see the passion and drive they have to help see their students succeed.
I love working with the students in my LiveLesson® sessions, real-time online classroom sessions, and through individual phone calls. In Algebra, it is wonderful to hear when the ‘light bulb’ goes off and they finally understand a concept they have been struggling with. It is also exciting to see students work together in a LiveLesson session and brainstorm through different problem solving strategies. There are many times my students will develop a different way to explain and solve problems than I originally presented.
I also enjoy working alongside all of the wonderful OCA teachers. I have the perfect team of teachers, which includes one of my former Pre-Algebra students, Anna Ridenour. She challenges me on a daily basis to be a better teacher, very similar to when she was my student.
As an Algebra teacher, I am able to have a unique relationship with my families. Often, students do not start Algebra with an optimistic outlook on math. I act as their cheerleader, and my goal is to build their confidence and basic knowledge to help them achieve success. I try to incorporate my sense of humor, whether students think it is funny or not, to lighten the mood and try to make Algebra an enjoyable experience. I treasure the times I get to work individually with students and see them start to change their attitude about math.”
I act as students’ cheerleader, and my goal is to build their confidence and basic knowledge to help them achieve success.