Achievement House Blog

TeacherFeature2016

What is it like teaching in a cyber school?

Alane Butler

What is it like teaching in a cyber school? What can students expect as they prepare to start the school year? AHCCS teacher, Ms. Marie Sabatelli, shares some of the behind the scenes action that takes place at cyber schools and gives advice for students who want to start the school year strong! 

How is teaching cyber school different than a traditional classroom? 

Because AHCCS offers grades 7-12, many students come to our school from a brick and mortar environment and learning in a cyber environment is very different from a traditional classroom. Teachers and students do so much more than spend their days alone in front of the computer. AHCCS teachers like Ms. Sabatelli work every day to interact and actively engage students in a virtual classroom. 
One of the biggest benefits of cyber education is the wealth of instant resources students have at their fingertips through the internet and technology. Using laptops provided by the school and a stable internet connection, students can instantly ask questions and get answers if they don’t understand the topic at hand. For some students this means they don’t have to wait until the bell rings or designated computer time to research a topic or ask a deeper question. 

What can families expect from AHCCS teachers and support staff? 
Ms. Sabatelli and her colleagues provide many layers of support in the classroom and beyond. In addition to the traditional subject matter teacher, AHCCS students have mentors and coaches who help students adjust to using the school technology and learning in the cyber environment. The school guidance team is available to help students determine what type of post-graduate education or options are best for their future. 
What is the best way for students to engage with other students and teachers? 
AHCCS uses video lessons, discussion boards, web tools, and projects in the virtual classroom. One of the best ways for students to interact with their teachers is to attend the live lessons and engage with others in the live classroom setting. Our teachers also craft lessons and virtual activities specifically for the online platform. This allows students to use the information they have available and apply it to new ways of thinking to gain a different perspective and deeper understanding of real world concepts. 

What advice do you have for students who are new to cyber education?  

Ms. Sabatelli has three main pieces of advice to become organized, prepared and succeed during the upcoming school year: 

  1. Designate a place in your home for “school.” Find a quiet place free of distractions that will allow you to hear your live classes and interact with classmates. 
  2. Block out your schedule to include what time your live classes are, time to work on assignments and time to communicate with teachers. This should also include any community activities or extracurriculars you may be involved in so you can see everything in one place. 
  3. Set up a digital folder for each class on your laptop. Keep all of your work for each class saved in the folder and learn to title documents so you can easily find them. 

Ms. Sabatelli received her Bachelor’s Degree from Geneva College. She continued her studies at Immaculata University, receiving her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. This fall will mark her 6th year of teaching at AHCCS and she will teach 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts. Her favorite part of working with AHCCS students is the one-on-one learning time; and getting to know their personalities and interests outside of the virtual classroom. She currently resides in Phoenixville and in her spare times enjoys crafting, knitting, crochet, and sewing.