What does running a gumball factory and teaching high school English have in common? They’re two things Lori Hudak would choose as a career. While she doesn’t chew gum while teaching, Lori shared some of the things she does implement in her virtual classroom to support students and keep them engaged.
So, what made Lori forgo the gum factory and take the path toward teaching? “As a teacher, I could work to build the strengths of various students,” she says. With experience in both brick-and-mortar and online schools from grade 6 all the way through college courses, she’s had quite a lot of variety over the years.
When a friend brought up enrolling her daughter in an online school, this piqued Lori’s interest and sparked a round of research that led to Laurel Springs. Now, not only does Lori have the opportunity to guide various students, but they can come from anywhere around the world! This fact solidified Lori’s decision to teach online, and it also gives her more time to do what she loves: bowl, swim, and read.
With a worldly class of students, how does Ms. Hudak keep everyone supported and engaged? Lori encourages her class to take advantage of all the interactive offerings and social opportunities Laurel Springs provides, including live iClasses and clubs. During the day-to-day, she supplements her lessons with additional resources and links and related suggestions and messages, such as recommended reading lists.
In addition to advocating resources, Lori encourages positive discussion and considers it part of one of her favorite lessons to teach. “Students make connections between a quotation and a real-life example…[students] ask questions as they read and figure out how information from one text compares to other texts.”
For Lori, teaching is not just about her connection with students, but with parents as well. Her advice to anyone new to navigating this educational platform: “In an online learning environment, learn about all of the resources that are available. [Check out] LSS Live, the Writing Lab and know how to access these resources when needed.”