Teacher Profile: Kelly Stevens

NCVPS History Teacher, Kelly Stevens

Courses Taught at NCVPS

I teach OCS (Occupational Course of Study) American History I & II.

Additional Jobs

I teach full time with Durham Public Schools in Durham, North Carolina. Currently, I am at Rogers-Herr Middle School teaching 7th-grade social studies.

Teaching Experience

I have been teaching for 18 years in North Carolina and have been teaching online for 5.

Experience as an Online Student

While I was obtaining my Master’s Degree from North Carolina Central in Curriculum and Instruction I took online classes through UNC Charlotte to obtain my AIG certification add on. At the time, online classes were in BETA phase and were VERY different than they are today. It was similar in that there were synchronous and asynchronous assignments, but there were no bells and whistles to the course, and I still had dial-up internet (no wifi), so I had to be at home to work and HOPED that my dial up connection way out in the countryside of Roxboro (where I lived at the time) worked while I tried to get my assignments completed and uploaded.

Advice to Online Students

I have had the wonderful experience of taking an online class in online class inception, I have also taught online for several years, and just this summer, I got to see online classes through the eyes of students and parents today, while my son took Spanish I with NCVPS. I would offer the following suggestions to help students be successful:

1. Make sure that you have all the materials you need for class before sitting down at the computer. If you are at home working, make sure you have space to work on the computer and space where you can write. Many classes have audio built into the course, so you should make sure you have headphones or earbuds.
2. Look at the lesson(s) that need to be completed for the week and divide the work needed to be completed over Monday thru Thursday. I suggest leaving Friday open so that if you don’t finish the work Mon-Thurs, you have a day to ensure the work is completed before the deadline.
3. If the teacher provides you with a checklist of assignments – USE IT! That way you ensure that you complete everything on time. If your teacher doesn’t provide the list, ask them if they would mind making one. I make one for my students, and I saw with my own son how helpful it really is.
4. You are taking a course online! Take advantage of the flexibility it offers. Work on your coursework for a little bit, then take a short break, then go back to the coursework. It’s not written in stone that you have to sit at the computer and do your work until it’s completed. If you feel like to need to take a short break – take one.
5. Check the announcements daily! Your teacher provides you with additional support in the announcements to help you on your coursework.
6. Check your grades daily, this helps you know where you are at academically. It also ensures that the teacher didn’t make any errors (because remember your online teachers are human and therefore not perfect, we make mistakes too. If you notice something that is off, inbox your instructor.)
7. Use the inbox to keep in touch with your instructor – they are here to help you when you need it. They also want to get to know you, so tell them a little about yourself.
8. Utilize the peer tutoring resource center. That is a SUPERB resource if you are struggling with something!

The Internet

I have so many that I keep in an online bookmarking tool called
Symbaloo. ​http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/easydifferentiationtools​

Gadgets and Things

Well, my laptop is a HUGE MUST, but ​I don’t know what I would do without my iPhone. I take it everywhere and use it for so many reasons. I keep my to-do lists on there, take pictures, translate when I need to, ​and I have my email and text that goes straight to my phone so that if my students and parents need me, I can assist them right away.

Goals this Year

​Well, I always have a goal to lose weight, but I just love so many yummy delicious foods – so it’s an ongoing battle. I have recently started doing Pilates at home to decompress and destress – I have found I really enjoy it!!

Favorite Books

​My favorite book of all time is The Count of Monte Cristo! I read it in high school in paper format and re-read it every few years electronically. I find that I enjoy e-books more because I have access to them on my iPhone, computer, or Nook and can read whenever I have a free moment. When the movie came out, I couldn’t wait to go see it! After seeing it, I wish I hadn’t. I was so disappointed by how the book was twisted into something entirely different.

Favorite Music

​I ADORE Pentatonix! I love how they harmonize so beautifully!​

Favorite Shows

​I am an avid Survivor fan. I started watching it during Season 1 and can’t stop now. When it comes on, no one is allowed to interrupt my TV time!

Interesting Note

​I am originally from a small town Just outside Niagara Falls, NY called Youngstown. It’s a quaint little town rich with history. One of my favorite places to visit was Old Fort Niagara (It was a fort during the War of 1812.) Most of my family still lives in the area, but my dad moved to Maine to enjoy the New England Winters (slight chuckle because he really isn’t enjoying all the snow they get in the winter.)

I LOVE Mickey Mouse. I have been to Disney World MANY times. My husband’s family lives in Florida, so whenever we visit them, we simply must spend a day at Disney. I would LOVE to visit every Disney park in the world and see how they vary per cultural region they are in.

The Future of Learning

​I simply LOVE online learning. It’s a great way for teaching and learning to revolve around each individual learner. It also allows students to have access to a broader range of course options than they would have in a traditional F2F setting. I see online learning becoming in demand more in the coming years​ and am excited to see it happen and be an integral part of it!​

Advice to Online Teachers

1. Getting things organized for me was tough in the beginning. I had to find a system that worked for me. I played with several before finally finding a way that I settled on.
2. Utilize your mentor. They were beginning online teachers once too and have since learned some tricks of the trade. If you don’t get a mentor, it doesn’t hurt to ask some experienced online teachers if they would mind helping you.
3. COLLABORATE with other online teachers that teach the same subject.
4. Determine a time that works for you to complete your work – but ALWAYS make sure your work is completed on time because the kids are depending on you to load the assignments and grade their work in a timely fashion.
5. Personalize the learning for the kids online just as you would for kids in an F2F environment.
6. Spend time getting to know the kids and letting them get to know you. Making that connection is important so they know you aren’t some computer that doesn’t have a heart.