The family feel is what stands out in the mind of newly promoted Master Teacher Nita Martin when asked to describe what strikes her most about University View Academy. She’s starting her second year at UVA but has been teaching 16, first in East Baton Rouge Parish and then in the Zachary School System. Martin says she loves “…getting to know the kids and families and collaborating with her coworkers. The field trip opportunities where you meet the students and families helps build relationships.” Martin also applauds the school, saying teachers have lots of flexibility in using their creativity to capture students’ attention in the virtual classroom.
She got into teaching in a roundabout way. She planned to graduate with a history degree from LSU then attend law school. But she says “life got in the way” and after having two children she took a different route, earning her Master’s Degree in Technology from Northwestern State University.
UVA is an excellent fit for her since Martin says she wanted to “Teach children using as much tech as possible. It’s part of their world. University View Academy is in their zone”, she adds. Because UVA students are scattered across the state in the online environment and not in a face-to-face classroom, Martin says teachers communicate more when you would think the opposite.
That discussion led to a story she relates to holding her fist live session for her fifth-graders in social studies last year. She was outside on her patio and didn’t realize the computer camera was active. What her students saw was her “sweating bullets” as she described and to wipe off had a green towel around her neck. Martin says she didn’t think about going inside where the temperature was cooler. “I was just so into the lesson,” she added. Her students must have been too because none asked her about what was happening. “That was a moment,” she laughed.