Janet Heiking

"I've learned but still have a lot to learn.  I've learned that people will forget what you said and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."--Maya Angelo

     My teaching career with FLVS Global School began 14 years ago.  Before that?  I taught at Largo High School (Largo, FL) teaching English in the Dropout Prevention program, advising the school yearbook and video yearbook, as well as coaching swimming and track.  Not long after our son was born my husband, Jeff, decided to move back to my hometown--Fishers, Indiana (a suburb of Indianapolis), to be closer to family.  Although I love teaching and coaching, I really wanted to spend more time with my son.  When the opportunity to teach online with Global School came along, I was thrilled!  Although I thought this would be a short-term job choice, I found that teaching online is an amazing job that I can't imagine leaving!

     In the past, I taught all of the high school English courses but Global School has grown.  This year I am teaching Social Media, English 4, Journalism, and AP Language & Composition.

     What do I like about teaching online?  The students!  I loved teaching in the traditional classroom but in an online environment all contact with students is one-on-one.  When I started teaching, I never dreamed that I would ever teach students outside of my small hometown school.  With Global School, I get to work with students from across the United States. . .to across the world!  (I've had students in 46 states and 55 countries!).  Where else could I work with such a diverse group of people. . .realizing that no matter where students live we have more in common than most believe!

     What advice would I offer to students taking courses online?  Remember, when you take a course online you are now in charge of your education!  Take advantage of that opportunity!  Run with it!  Communication with your teacher is critical.  Get to know your teacher. . .and allow your teacher to get to know you.  Remember--all of your conversations are one-on-one. . .there aren't the 30 other students in the classroom listening to you ask questions.  Take risks!  Hate poetry?  Give it another chance. . .when you try writing a poem you might actually find it is not as difficult as you thought!  (Miss the mark on your first attempt?  Take the advice your teacher provides you and try again!)

     Getting away from work--from school--is important, too!  Every summer we go to our favorite lake with my extended family.  It is a very special place--although it takes me a day or two to "decompress" as there is no internet--no cell phone access--at the lake. . .it is a relaxing vacation spent skiing and tubing.  Photography is my creative outlet.  I love to take pictures of my family (and my son's activities) but also of the world around us.  Taking pictures of what we pass by every day. . .those hidden gems that we have right in front of us. . .is my challenge.

     The quote at the start of this article.  You may recognize this from the signature on my e-mail.  It is the standard that I follow and my hope is that my students feel that impact.