Casey Ross Brings Robust Online Teaching Experience to Laurel Springs
Casey Ross is a veteran teacher in every sense of the word. She has over ten years of experience teaching in brick and mortar classrooms, and ten more years of online teaching experience. She has worked in curriculum development, as an education advocate, and serves as the Academic Department Chair in Science for Laurel Springs. Her many years of experience in education have truly sharpened Casey’s approach to teaching.
Teaching Students Effectively
“Students know me and my expectations, and know that I’m keeping an eye on them.” Casey starts building relationships with her students as soon as they are assigned to her. She discovers their strengths and weaknesses, personal schedule, and what things most excite them about learning. “Then,” she said, “I’m golden. I know what their days will look like, what they expect from my class, and what their previous experience is with online learning. I tailor my interactions with them based on this information.” One of Casey’s students, Jake Greenwald, said, “She was openly communicative and eager to adapt to my academic preferences. She caters to the desires and interests of her students, creating a truly enjoyable, and thought provoking learning experience.”
When it comes to teaching science, Casey feels that it’s especially important to create excitement about the subject when students are in middle school. She sponsors the middle school science club, which “gets kids interested at a younger age as they work with gooey, slimy, fun with our science experiments. They have such a wonder about the world and science, so if you keep them engaged, they will bring that wonder for science into the classroom, and work through challenges to learn new things in high school courses.”
Casey’s online teaching experience and passion for online education have provided opportunities for her to speak before the Senate Committee in her home state of Michigan, and has been invited by iNACOL (the International Association for K-12 Online Learning) to speak before the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. Casey views these speaking engagements as an opportunity for her to explain the history of online learning and raise awareness about how it works, and how it is successful. “Usually, the response is one of surprise that online teachers have a relationship with their students-and that that relationship is actually closer than it would be in a brick and mortar school. We must embrace change even if it’s outside our comfort zone.”
Through a variety of teaching methods, Casey uses “a toolbox full of ways to look at the most difficult science concepts and remove the fear that might be associated with learning about them.” In virtual classrooms, for instance, Casey addresses topics to make students comfortable with challenging subject matter, such as electron configuration or the periodic table. “I keep science alive and viable for students when it gets hard. Working with students one-on-one while showing my enthusiasm tends to remove any anxiety about learning even the most difficult topics.”
Outside of Teaching World
In her free time, Casey likes to spend time outdoors: she is an avid gardener and photographer. She is also an expert sailor with extensive sailing experience. In addition to exploring the Great Lakes, Casey has sailed up the East Coast (from Florida to New York), and then up the Hudson River, through the Erie Canal, and into the Great Lakes. She has also crewed on a tall ship, and loves to kayak.