Teacher Spotlight: Dean Feldman & the Role of a Lifetime
As a film and television actor, Dean Feldman takes on many roles. However, one of his leading parts features his talent on a different type of screen. Dean trades the set for the online classroom when he teaches Laurel Springs students in grades 9-12. He shows great range in both acting and teaching, as his classes vary across the media arts and entertainment landscape and includes everything from Animation and Digital Photography to Theatre Around the World and Film Production. As a person who’s used to the spotlight, Dean was more than happy to share his experiences with us and provide rave reviews for Laurel Springs.
The scene opens on two friends chatting about teaching at Laurel Springs School. DEAN FELDMAN has been teaching at a brick-and-mortar school for 31 years and is looking for a change. HIS FRIEND is already a teacher at Laurel Springs.
I’d love to work with students from all over the world!
That’s exactly what I do at Laurel Springs!
It would be great to teach a variety of different courses and collaborate with teachers from around the United States.
I love the Laurel Springs curriculum and staff. The teachers and administrators work together to make everyone feel part of the school community.
Yea, but would I be able to teach anywhere in the world that has an internet connection?
You sure can!
Engaged in the Creative Process
Working in the digital world, Dean and his students are already familiar with certain types of technology. He uses this to his advantage in order to keep his classes lively. “I love to create videos that engage my students, not only in my classes but also in my live iClass lessons.” Some may find it difficult to keep kids engaged through a screen, but not Dean. “I get my students involved in the creative process when I work with them live. Just because we are not all in the same room does not mean they can't actively participate and collaborate. I love the fact that we have various tools to make teaching and learning at Laurel Springs engaging.”
Going off Script
Whether teaching online or in person, teachers are an essential lifeline to students in their academic life and beyond. In order to be fully supportive, it’s necessary to recognize when students need an extra push or an extra hand. In any case, this requires keeping the lines of communication open.
“I feel that communication is vital to the success of my students when working online. I regularly check in...encouraging them to think outside the box when working in my class. I reach out to my students who I notice are struggling and develop a plan to make them feel that they have a teacher who wants them to succeed. I also make it a point to reach out to all of my students and families to share the positive things in class. Having an open line of communication is vital to the success of teaching online.”
With the lines open and communication flowing, Dean learns more about his students than only how they perform in class. “I enjoyed getting to know my students and the fantastic work they are doing both inside and outside the classroom…” After being bit by the online teaching bug, Dean doesn’t see himself returning to the "traditional" way of teaching. Laurel Springs has given him the opportunity to work with students from all parts of the world, and for him, that makes a world of difference.
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