Just like an actor who needs to play to the camera or a live audience, Staci Williams talks with her hands, changes facial expressions and the pitch of her voice to capture the attention of her students during online live sessions. She also plays songs and takes requests from students to spice up her live sessions. “That’s success for me when they don’t want to leave live sessions,” she offered. These are just some of the tools she’s learned to use as a fourth-grade math teacher at University View Academy. “I love life; I love the kids, and I portray that to them,” she explained.
Ms. Williams made a massive change from first-grade science to fourth-grade math in her second year at University View Academy. It required her to build out her course. “The curriculum is really wonderful, and it’s thorough. She also had to keep in mind that it has to accommodate students who are now beginning to take the initiative. She even borrowed on her experience in being home-schooled to understand students and know how to motivate them to work with her. “I feel like you build that philosophy based on life,” she stated.
Ms. Williams has been a teacher for ten years, mostly in brick and mortar classrooms, and was concerned about losing interactions with students’ by teaching online. She has set aside that fear. “I had a kid hand-deliver me a Christmas present,” Staci beamed. In another instance, she and her parents adopted the family of a student she teaches after finding out they were in hard times. “I just wanted to make a difference in even one family’s life if I could,” she said.
A difference coming in Ms. Williams’ life is her going back to school. She begins attending graduate school courses at LSU this spring in Education Administration. She admits to being nervous. “I’ve been out of school awhile. I am so excited for what the future holds for me,” she exclaimed