April Neudenberger is a secondary school teacher at Tennessee Connections Academy. She has been teaching since 2002 and joined Tennessee Connections Academy in 2019. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Penn State University and two master’s degrees in wildlife biology and teaching for math and science from California University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Neudenberger is currently working toward her PhD from Northcentral University. She shares her story below:
“It was clear from an early age that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Every time my friends and I would play house, I would always be the teacher. I enjoy teaching what I know. I love lifelong learning and filling students with a love of learning.
I knew I wanted to be a chemistry teacher when my peers always came to me for tutoring help. The subject came naturally to me, and I love every aspect of science. I have taught chemistry for many years, and I find our curriculum at Tennessee Connections Academy to be rigorous. Students are getting a good foundation in chemistry.”
Having previously taught in a traditional brick-and-motar setting, Ms. Neudenberger recognizes the differences in virtual schooling. She says, “Online school gives students the ability to work at their own pace. I also get a chance to have more one-on-one discussions with students online as opposed to being in the classroom. Interacting with students during LiveLesson® sessions is a way to feel connected in an online environment. Today’s employers are using technology more and more, and Connections Academy® students will have an advantage because they use technology every day to complete their lessons.
This semester has been a process for all of us, learning the ropes, but now it is time to have fun with online learning. As a new school, we get the chance to create a culture that is warm and inviting. We are incorporating clubs into our school. This will allow students to be part of our culture and make new friends. I make sure that I respond to emails and phone calls right away. This helps to diminish student and parent stress when they know somebody has their back.”
Tennessee Connections Academy is a warm and wonderful group of educators, and I feel honored to work with them each day. I especially love getting to know all the students. We are all finding a groove, and the learning has been meaningful for both myself and the students.