Follow AAE on:

Subscribe to RSS Feed:

Teacher Choice Spotlight: Virtual School Teacher
posted by: Alix | January 24, 2012, 07:30 PM   

This week is National School Choice Week – a national movement of grassroots organizations calling for more educational options. Here at AAE, we support National School Choice Week because we support educators in all settings and encourage teachers to pursue the school and setting best suited to their needs and interest.

As part of National School Choice Week, AAE has profiled teachers throughout the country to showcase their own unique setting and choice. Today we are profiling Mrs. Crystal Van Ausdal, a virtual school teacher in Utah.

Name: Crystal Van Ausdal
School Setting: virtual charter school, Utah
Years teaching: 6

Q:  How do you benefit from school/ teacher choice?
I always loved teaching but had a great desire to be a mom.  I wanted to be able to stay home with my children while they were young.  School choice allowed me to find a school setting where I was able to have the best of both worlds.  I am able to stay at home and raise my son as well as continue the profession that I love.  I can now work from home while my son is sleeping or playing next to me.  It provides me flexible hours so I am able to complete most of my work during times that are most convenient to me, which often includes late nights after my son is in bed.

Q: Do you think you are a better teacher because of your setting choice?
I definitely feel that my change in school setting has made me a better teacher.  I feel that my experiences in both the public and online setting have provided me with different skill sets that have made me a better overall teacher.  The online setting has helped me become much better in communicating.  I spend much more of my time contacting parents and students and have had to learn how to effectively communicate through email. My current school setting has also made me a better teacher because I can teach without being worried about my son.  Knowing that I am still able to be there for my son each day allows me to enjoy my teaching much more.  Whenever a teacher enjoys teaching, the students definitely reap the benefits.

Q: What is your educational philosophy?
My educational philosophy is that the student always comes first.  As an educator it is crucial for you to have a goal in mind as you are making the numerous decisions that arise each day.  My goal is to make my students responsible, educated citizens.  That goal helps me decide when to be flexible and when to stick to my guns and be a little more strict.  I feel that teaching the students to be responsible for their actions and to work hard for their goals is just as important as teaching them mathematics.  I know that my students all have amazing amounts of potential.  I strive each year to help each student realize that potential by holding high standards for each and every student and being there to help them achieve those high standards.

Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception about virtual charter schools?
I feel that there is a misconception that charter schools are started by non-educators who do not know what they are doing.  I think that there is a misconception that virtual schools have lower academic standards and do not adequately teach and prepare students.  Sadly, there are a few virtual schools that have lived up to this misconception and have given the rigorous, high achieving virtual schools a bad name.

Q: If you are a parent, do your children benefit from choice?

A: While I am a parent, my son is still years away from school.  I do feel comforted; however, that when my son is of age to attend school, I will be able to choose the school that is best for him.  Not every school fits every student and I want to make sure that whatever school my son attends fits him.

Q: Would you encourage young people to consider a career in teaching?
I definitely would encourage young people to consider teaching as a career, as long as they love working with the students.  It is the most rewarding career if you are willing to give it your all and work hard to help your students succeed. Seeing students' eyes light up as they finally understand a concept is one of the best things in the world.

Mrs. Crystal Van Ausdal is featured in AAE's film Teacher's Choice. Click here to watch the video.

What do you think about virtual schools as a choice setting?
Comment below.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Submit a comment
 (not published)
smaller | bigger

security code
Write the displayed characters