Starting online student teaching

uwosh picMike Wilbert, a non-traditional student from Black Creek, Wisc. is a Special Education major. He is completing a nine-week placement with the Wisconsin Virtual Academy, based in McFarland, Wisc.

I chose special education as my major because I wanted to teach a population of students who sometimes aren’t given opportunities to succeed.  Also, special education students have an honesty and realness about them that is difficult to find in a regular education setting.

As a non-traditional student it is difficult to find time to be involved on campus, most of my time is spent with my wife and our new baby girl.  I am excited to be in the last leg of my college journey. My wife is definitely ready for me to finish student teaching and get into the field.

My first student teaching placement is with the Wisconsin Virtual Academy.  This placement is almost 100% online. While most of the instruction is done via online classrooms, there will be times I will have to travel.  Times of travel will be for WKCE Testing as well as formal testing for placement into special education.  I am really excited to use some web 2.0 tools to create novel and engaging lessons.

I think this is not only a great platform for students who do not do well in the tradition brick and mortar setting, but also for students within a traditional school who may need something different to succeed. I look forward to learning the curriculum and thinking of ways to incorporate this media into my future classroom.  I am not particularly tech savvy and teaching in an online format will give me the ability to dive in, try new tools and techniques and be better for it.

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