Teaching at a Virtual Public School in the USA
One question I often see discussed on social media pages is how Online ESL teachers can find daytime hours. Typically we are stuck working early mornings and late nights teaching people on the other side of the world. Well it is a great gig it can get draining working odd hours. After 4 years I decided I wanted to try and find something that would allow me to work a typical day and provide me with health and retirement benefits. Don't worry I will still be teaching online esl classes, just not as many!
I knew I did not want to go back to a typical brick and mortar classroom. For many years I have thought about teaching at a virtual public school. Companies like k12.com have schools all across America that are virtual and teachers are home based. I have never had much luck when applying, too many applicants and I don't know anybody personally to get my foot in the door. I have heard of people in other states who have had a much easier time getting k12 jobs so it is a great starting point if you are looking for this type of work. I decided to apply again to anything that was open here in my state. I noticed a lot of high school level positions. My teaching license is in elementary education and elementary special education, so I researched what I would need to do to add additional levels and areas to my license. Much to my surprise all I had to do was take a Praxis test in that area! So I spent the next month taking a bunch of Praxis tests and added Middle School and High School Special Education, 4-6th Grade, 7-12th grade English, 7-12th grade Social Studies.
I went back and applied for everything I could at k12.com, but then decided to dig a little deeper. There had to be other schools out there doing this right? Well there was! I applied to several other virtual schools and got several interviews. I interviewed at a correspondence type high school who serve students doing credit recovery, performers and athletes that can't attend a typical school day, students in other countries, etc. I applied to a few schools similar to k12, some required teachers to actually come into the main office building to teach so I decided against those. I interviewed for two positions at the school I ultimately chose; one was a long term sub position in middle school and one was a full time special ed position in high school. I decided to take the full time position obviously, lol!
I am working with students that would typically be considered 'self-contained' in the brick and mortar school. They are high school aged with various disabilities such as autism, intellectual disabilities, multiple disabilities, etc. I am assigned 3 reading classes, 3 social skills classes (which are co-taught), a homeroom class, and a PE class.
I'm excited to share with you guys all about my journey as a virtual teacher in this new setting!
If you are interested in the interview process I have made a video about my journey here: