Jennifer Dean is a high school teacher at South Carolina Connections Academy (SCCA). She began teaching in 2001 and joined SCCA in 2012. Ms. Dean holds a bachelor of science in graphic communication, a certification in secondary English education, and a master of education in reading from Clemson University. Learn more about Ms. Dean’s story below:
“I think I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. When I was in 11th grade, I had a wonderful English teacher who taught us in such a creative way. She always had us working on projects, working in groups, and creating things. We also had a lot of deep discussions on (materials) that we read. She was my inspiration.
Now, being at SCCA completely changes the idea of teaching and lets me focus more on my individual students. In a bricks-and-mortar school, you sometimes spend more time dealing with classroom management. For example, you are constantly finding ways to keep certain students focused, on-task, and respectful to others. You are also constantly coming up with lesson plans and assessments. Teaching in an online school allows the teacher to focus more time on the student. I don’t have to worry about kids arguing or dress-code violations. I also believe that our world, workforce, and colleges are changing. Teaching at a virtual school is putting me and my colleagues on the cutting edge of a new shift in education.
For many students, this virtual environment allows them to learn at their own pace, and it fits the needs that many of our students have. Also, even though we are a virtual school, there are so many opportunities for students to connect (learning experiences, back-to-school events, prom, graduation, etc.). I would also emphasize our communication because your student will do his/her best with us because of good communication between everyone (Learning Coach, student, teachers/school). It helps to take advantage of all of the resources readily available to you and to reach out to your teachers for help.
I love my students, and I love being able to meet with them on an individual basis through LiveLesson® sessions or phone calls. That’s something you can’t do as much in a traditional setting. I also enjoy the flexibility of my job. I especially like the friendships that I’ve made with my fellow teachers.
In addition to teaching, I love spending time with my family and taking pictures. I help my husband photograph weddings, and you will usually see me at most SCCA events with a camera around my neck. I also enjoy reading and creating things on the computer (graphic design). Oh, and I love anything Clemson!
For many students, this virtual environment allows them to learn at their own pace, and it fits the needs that many of our students have.