NATIONAL (CBS Newspath) – Virtual learning has changed the way families and school districts think about education. Now it has some teachers shifting their careers, choosing virtual teaching even once the pandemic is behind us.
Dion Lucas spent more than a decade teaching high school math in her own unique way. “I incorporate a lot of music into my lesson plans,” she says.
The teacher and church musician took a break after feeling a bit of burn out. And then the pandemic hit. “When the pandemic happened, I wasn’t working, the church was closed, everything was closed. I didn’t have any income coming in,” Lucas says.
So, she took her musical math lessons online, becoming a permanent virtual educator. Lucas says, “If everything has to shut down again, I needed to make sure that I have a stable income, that I could be able to support myself and my family.”
Nearly 93% of U.S. households with school-aged children reported some form of distance learning during the COVID crisis, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The National Virtual Teacher Association (NVTA) supports educators looking to move their careers online. Dr. April Willis with the NVTA says, “It’s a brand new world of teachers who feel like an opportunity has been opened to them.”
Teachers are finding positions at online schools or teaching courses districts may not have been able to offer. “You can have a virtual teacher from anywhere in the country, teaching students in your district, which is incredible because your district might have been restricted to only offering certain electives, certain AP classes, certain foreign languages, because that’s who lived in your area,” Willis says.
Virtual teachers like Dion Lucas also offer office hours and extra tutoring, hoping to make the online experience as interactive as possible.