Derek Sharpe, an economics and social science teacher candidate at Western University, recently completed his alternative placement at Virtual High School. This placement was the final step in his Bachelor of Education program, which he will graduate from to become a certified teacher in June.

Derek first became interested in Virtual High School when he visited Bayfield many summers ago. Derek’s family has a cottage in Grand Bend and enjoys coming to Bayfield for day trips. Walking past the VHS building, Derek often wondered how our school operated and decided to learn more about how we write and develop courses.

Derek made the decision to complete his alternative placement at VHS because he wanted experience beyond working in a traditional bricks-and-mortar school. Derek felt that it was important to balance his school and classroom experiences with other potential career opportunities in the online education sphere.

During his placement at VHS, Derek spent the majority of his time assisting the content development team with the development of a new business course. Derek was responsible for adding engagement activities throughout lessons, offering suggestions and feedback on content, and creating content for an Information and Communication Technology lesson. Derek even had the opportunity to write the script for an animated concept video about supply and demand.

“I noticed a very friendly and welcoming environment as soon as I walked in the door the first day. Everyone was very helpful and always checked in with me to see how I was doing. I enjoyed the flexible schedule, the open-concept working environment, and opportunities for walking breaks throughout the day,” said Derek of his experience working at VHS during his alternative placement.

Derek is looking forward to a career as a teacher in a bricks-and-mortar school. Through his experience at VHS, he is now also open to other potential career paths, such as teaching in an online environment or becoming a content developer/writer.