Elementary School Teacher
Cassie Gillett is an elementary school teacher at Tennessee Connections Academy. She earned a master’s degree in Gifted,
Talented, and Creative from Arkansas State University. Since joining Tennessee Connections Academy in 2010, Ms. Gillett
has enjoyed hosting LiveLesson® sessions and creating meaningful connections and learning experiences with students
online. She shares her story below:
“My parents and grandparents were educators. Thankfully, they instilled in me an intense passion to love learning and to
ask ‘why’ questions about the world around me. Early on, I recognized that I enjoy inciting the same passion I have for
learning in the minds of others.
There are many wonderful ways to bond in an online school. As an elementary teacher, I meet with students and parents
together twice a month, which means I am genuinely involved in students’ lives. Engaging in LiveLesson sessions is also
a great time to connect and get to know each other. For example, we might snag our pets to help us in a science
experiment or show off toys that exhibit potential and kinetic energy on webcams. I love seeing the aha! moment in
LiveLesson sessions or one-on-one meetings. It gives me pleasure to help students succeed and push them to think deeper
about themselves and their learning. I enjoy the personal connection I get to make and tailoring lessons to help them
I love seeing the aha! moment in LiveLesson sessions or one-on-one meetings. It gives me pleasure to help students
succeed and push them to think deeper about themselves and their learning.
— Ms. Gillett
Without the help of a Learning Coach, a child will not be as successful as they could be. Having a working relationship
with student, Learning Coach, and teacher is vital. Students work somewhat at their own pace throughout the semester but
should always heed the advice given by their teacher about pacing. Being an online student means that a student needs to
be a self-starter or motivated by a Learning Coach.
The Tennessee Connections Academy curriculum is rigorous, and when students and Learning Coaches engage actively in it,
students can soar. It is rich and robust. Students learn valuable skills such as ownership and initiative for one’s
learning. These skills can translate into a variety of valuable skills for future goals.”