Behind the scenes of a DL School
Last week we shared some advice for parents of DL School kids - and this week we want to let you know what's going on behind the scenes at SCIDES, while the students are learning at home...
Most of our students (about 70-80% of them) are at a distance, so building a relationship with them is a SCIDES' teacher's top priority. It's very important to have a good, trusting working relationship - after all, education is something very personal and impacts your whole life, so we want to start off on the right foot.
Often our students self-enroll via our website, so our teachers send out a welcome email as soon as possible, to establish a line of communication. Immediately after that, our teachers start building a personal learning plan.
DL is highly personalized and flexible, and we gather as much information about the student as possible, to ensure the learning plan fits his or her needs. This involves contacting and collaborating with the student, and possibly a parent or councilor/teacher from his or her school of record.
As far as the day-to-day behind the scenes, the teacher's day usually starts with checking email and phone messages as well as adressing any emergencies. After that it's on to marking assignments and giving feedback. Thanks to technology, the feedback can be in form of an email, a phone call or even a video chat - our teachers choose whatever works best for the student.
The time after lunch is spent much the same way, with each individual student getting the support and feedback they need to succeed.
And while DL is very personalized, there is still opportunity for social interaction - our teachers often do video calls with groups of students throughout British Columbia!
Another important part of daily DL teacher chores is contacting inactive students. We know that life sometimes gets in the way, but we want to encourage all our students to finish their education and graduate!
Finally, there are always the students that actually live in the Merritt area and our teachers and support staff are happy to see them at any time! Of course our teachers enjoy the enormous flexibility DL bring with it as well - for example during road trips to visit cross enrolled students in other school districts in BC.
Sounds like a full day, right? It is! And that's why most of the course development happens at night or during holidays, when the phones are quiet and our teachers are at home, relaxing with a cup of tea and a warm blanket...