Far away voices find support
It would seem that the faceless nature of online classes would make it hard for students and instructors to connect. Where’s the eye contact, the facial and body expressions and the intimacy of sharing space? Who can feel heard from such distances, both geographic and physical?
Online General Ed instructor, Emily Ware has figured it out.
“I really do get to know them better, but in a different way,” says Emily Ware. “We actually spend more one-on-one time together, so I get to learn more about them as individuals.”
Her students feel the love.
“Emily Ware went above and beyond to help me,” says Mississippi Online student, Kimberly Sanders. “She’s a great instructor and I’d like to tell everyone how great she is.”
Mrs. Ware felt the same way. “Kim was always eager to learn,” she says. “She asked a lot of questions, and I liked that about her. She was a bright spot in my day, when I’d hear from her.”
Emily Ware comes from a long line of teachers. But, she was the first one in the family to go in a different career direction for several years, when she worked as a buyer in the fashion industry.
“I felt like I was always meant to teach, but got off track for a few years,” says Emily. Now that she has answered the call to help others discover their highest potential, she is in full swing.
“I like to get students excited about the material I’m teaching, watch them learn something new and develop a love for learning,” she says. “When they see their skill levels go up after studying and where they end up; it boosts their confidence, and it’s very rewarding.”
One of Emily’s best moments came when a student submitted a big PowerPoint project with a note that said “I don’t even care what grade I got on this because I had so much fun doing it.”
“I was happy that she had fun with it and that she was happy with what she created,” says Emily.
Tekla Patton, Student Services, also has high praise for Emily. “She is great at contacting students by phone, e-mail and even text messages,” says Tekla. “Her courses are geared to every student’s learning styles. Emily does admit to giving her students her cell phone number – and takes all calls.
Now that web cams are more popular, Emily gets to finally see some of her students.
“Sometimes I didn’t even know if my student was male or female, from the name,” she says. And, now most posts come in with a student photo, so a new door has opened to communication. “Many student projects include information about their life and kids,” says Emily, who enjoys an even deeper understanding of her students’ lives.
Emily comes by her gift of teaching naturally. Her mom, Robin, set an exceptional standard.
“My mom is an amazing teacher and she motivated me to be the teacher I am,” says Ware. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot about how to be a teacher from her.”