Arwin Alitagtag is a secondary mathematics teacher at Utah Connections Academy (UCA). He has more than a decade of teaching experience and joined UCA in 2011. Mr. Alitagtag holds a bachelor's of science degree in secondary education with a major in mathematics from Saint Michael’s College of Laguna. He earned a Master's Degree with an emphasis in school counseling from American Public University. Mr. Alitagtag shares his story below.
“I grew up in the Philippines, and living in a third world country can be a real challenge. I had many wonderful teachers growing up and they taught me that the key to leaving poverty is a good education. I studied hard and was able to gain a scholarship to college. I wanted to have a career where I could pay back those who had helped and inspired me. I knew the best way to do that would be to become a teacher myself.
There are so many different styles of learning. I love teaching at Utah Connections Academy because I feel I have the time and capability to help students learn in a way that is best for them, and that way I am able to lead them to greater success. I love being able to spend one-on-one time with students. In traditional school settings, the teachers have large classrooms, so the one-on-one aspect is difficult to come by. At UCA, I love that I can have an individual educational relationship with all my students, and that I can tailor an individualized learning plan for each student.
An online school allows students to move as quickly or as slowly as they may need in a particular lesson. As an instructor, I am able to help my students work through lessons at their own pace and offer a variety of different learning options. I taught in different bricks-and-mortar schools for many years, and I feel the online learning options are better. Not only can I help those who may have struggled in a bricks-and-mortar school, I can also help those who are quick to grasp concepts. There are students who find themselves bored in a traditional school setting because they are ahead of the curve. As a teacher, I am able to see those skills, and instead of holding a student back, I can challenge them with new and more difficult materials.
Technology changes every day, and at UCA we find new and innovative ways to impart knowledge to our students with each lesson that we prepare. This is a wonderful way to help our students prepare for life in the workforce today, where we are using technology at an increasing rate. Learning to take charge of their own learning environment and understanding their learning capabilities will greatly prepare students to exit high school and enter college and work. Finally, the flexibility of an online learning environment allows students to complete math assignments when it is best for them, not when they are assigned to do so.”
I love that I can have an individual educational relationship with all my students, and that I can tailor an individualized learning plan for each student.