You just won the Online Educator of the Year award! Write a 300-word acceptance speech for this prestigious honor. In your speech address:
1-The qualities that made you such a successful leader in the online classroom (Who can you thank for helping you to learn and cultivate these qualities?
2-How you feel that online learning contributes to positive social change (Consider access to education, global creative problem solving, connecting diverse perspectives, geographically agnostic learning, and serving students with mobility challenges, communication challenges, or learning differences¬.)
SAMPLE FROM A STUDENT IN MY CLASS
Thank you so much for this honor, I am truly blessed to receive this award. Teaching has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl, and my dream was to become a college professor. When I branched into the teaching scene, I was looking for a school that believed in giving back to the community, understanding the importance of culture in the classroom, and the ability to relate real world issues and successes within in the classroom.
When I was a student, I had several professors who brought culture and diversity into the classroom and connected it to the course material. I loved learning how the material was relevant to social society and how I could use that information to make a difference. Having professors who truly cared how the students were going to be able to use the course material in their lives outside of school, is why I wanted to become the type of teacher I am today.
When I started my search for the school I wanted to teach for, Walden University (2016) stood out because they, “consider their self a learning organization and believes that quality and integrity are the cornerstone of all academic processes” (p.22). Integrity is a highlight in my courses because I believe students cannot be successful if their professor and themselves are not honest with their course work and having a standard of high moral principles to do the right thing.
Online learning contributes to a positive social change, and I am thrilled to consider myself part of the online learning community. Online learning is about being able to reach a diverse group of students across the world and Walden University (2016), “fosters social change through education of scholar-practitioners, increasing access to higher education, and applying research to helping solve problems in the world” (p.6). Learning through the online platform allows an increase of access to higher education for those who cannot attend in-person, or if there is a certain degree a student wishes to achieve, and a local school does not offer it. With the increase of higher education access, it also increases diverse perspectives within the classroom. It is an incredible feeling as an online educator to be able to teach a diverse group of students; I find this contributes to the overall success of the course because it adds value and additional insight into the course material.
As an online educator I understand that students may have communication challenges, mobility challenges, and/or learning differences as they could have in-person learning as well, but knowing these challenges I am, “sensitive to the various learning styles and particularly the way I assess student’s performance” (Katz, 2020, p.5). I like to reach out to all of my students on the first day and have a private conversation with them and ask them is they have any learning difficulties I should be made aware of, and then we can discuss how we can work through them to make sure the student is able learn the course material and perform to their best ability.
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