Kiera Vere, a Geography/Concurrent Education student at Nipissing University, recently completed her alternative placement with Virtual High School. Kiera will be completing her degree in April, 2018 at which point she will be a certified teacher, and we are sure she will be a tremendous educator.
Alternative placements introduce teacher candidates like Kiera to non-traditional teaching environments such as the one we offer at Virtual High School. Other environments may include library programs, specialty schools, or outdoor centres, for example. At first, Kiera was a bit unsure what to expect from an alternative placement because she had never considered anything other than traditional teaching in a classroom setting. She had heard about Virtual High School before, so when she learned she was required to complete an alternative placement, she found our website and became fascinated with our education model. Kiera comments on her first day:
“On my first day, I was very nervous – I can be a little shy at times, and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. The second I opened the front door, my nervousness faded away. I loved the open concept of the building, with desks everywhere and people buzzing around, working together or independently. Everyone I met during my time at VHS was so kind and willing to help, and I felt so welcome.”
During her four-week placement, Kiera gained deeper insights into online learning and the administrative side of education. “I learned far more than I could have ever imagined,” Kiera shared. One of her tasks was to manage our Help Desk, a task which she undertook in order to help students and teachers asking for technical assistance. By interacting with students and teachers, Kiera helped others with their questions and solved problems. This helped Kiera learn about all different areas of Virtual High School as she worked to troubleshoot various issues.
Kiera had the opportunity to explore SNC4M, our new grade 12 mixed level Science course: “Problem-based learning has been so flawlessly integrated into this course. Everything I’ve learned about problem-based learning throughout my schooling is laid out, all in one course! Seeing it used first-hand was fantastic, and I see the benefit of this method of instruction even more than I did before.”
Kiera also had the opportunity to write three children’s stories for an elementary school project: “Knowing that students somewhere will be reading a story that I wrote is an amazing feeling.”
Kiera’s final project was to work with our Academic Integrity Officer, Emily Santos, to explore new and interesting ways to present policy information. Throughout this project, Kiera learned a great deal about academic integrity and how important it is not only at Virtual High School but also in education on a broader level. She says, “I will definitely be applying what I learned to any academic integrity problems I may face in the future!”
What’s next for Kiera? She hopes to teach in a brick and mortar school one day, but she is now also open to teaching online or working in the administrative side of education—areas she had never considered before.
“Being a teacher has always been my dream, and I am so excited to see what my future holds. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here and couldn’t imagine doing my placement anywhere else.”
It was wonderful to have Kiera working with us and we wish her the best as she begins her teaching career!
Contact your Placement Coordinator to find out how Virtual High School can fit into your placement requirements.