Many students think of their high school teachers and assume they don’t care about their personal lives or what they want their future to hold. But there are teachers that want relationships with their students. Chrissy McCormick was a substitute Educational Assistant for five years and has now been spent three years with the online program at SHS, values the relationships she builds with her students inside the classroom.
“Relationships are the foundation of growth. When students know I value them as a person and believe in them, they’re more willing to do something unpleasant or difficult. They discover classes are important, but the life lessons they’re learning are even more valuable,” McCormick said.
McCormick welcomes all of her students when class begins, checks in with them as often as she is able to, and says goodbye to all at the end of class. Some teachers don’t even say “good morning” to their classes or “have a good day”.
“She mainly talked to me about speech and debate. She would sometimes hear my name over the intercom and she would congratulate me on how my team and I did at tournaments, which was super nice of her to do,” sophomore Jolene Crane said.
Being an online assistant, McCormick has found that it is easier to have connections with her students. While students are working independently at their computers, she is able to view their reports and figure out a way to help them when needed.
“I don’t like making assumptions, so I’ve had excellent conversations and learned a lot about students through this process,” McCormick said.
The online program has a lot of flexibility for the students and allows her to check in with her students without disturbing them. McCormick likes helping students who are having troubles or challenges and helps them through difficult times. She encourages them to keep going and celebrates with them when they accomplish things for class.
“If any student ever needed assistance on a quiz or an assignment, she was happy to help. She would break down the questions and answers into much simpler language that was easier for us students to understand. She never gave us the answer, which I liked. She just helped us understand the question which made it a lot easier to answer,” Crane said.
Even with the change in online class because of Distance Learning, McCormick is still there for her students. She doesn’t find a barrier between herself and her students, even when they aren’t in the same room. Her students are still logging into their classes and she still monitors them, reaching out to them when needed. Although it can take longer to get in contact with students because it’s all through email now.
“I miss the in-person aspect, but am grateful we’re still operating,” McCormick said.
No matter the place she is advising from, McCormick still loves her job and enjoys talking with her students.
“I love it [being an online assistant]! I get the best of both worlds working with students in an online environment and face to face. On a personal level, this job feels custom made for me. It combines my strengths and brings me satisfaction,” McCormick said.
McCormick tries to have a relationship with each and every one of her students. She says “it’s good for my soul”. Her ability to connect with her students allows them to be able to talk to her or ask for help when they need it. They are not worried about questioning their studies. And they know she will do whatever she can to help her students achieve their goals.