Jason Cox recognized as November 2014 Teacher of the Month
Nov 4, 2014
Our November Teacher of the Month, Jason Cox, has been a staple for PA Cyber high school students this past decade, acting as a blended classroom instructor in American History and Introduction to Law.
Why did you choose to work at PA Cyber?
In 2005 when I had my job interview and the interviewers showed me the virtual classroom I was awestruck at how PA Cyber was educating students via a computer and an Internet connection. As an excited young teacher that grew up using computers I saw the possibilities, and I knew that I wanted to help take the next step in education. Once I started I was welcomed into a family-type environment that appreciated its employees.
The best part of the job is:
Right now as a new blended teacher the best part of my job is being back in the classroom. There is no better feeling on earth than when you are excited about a lesson and the students respond to it with questions, comments, and an overall excitement. Even though teaching is amazing, there was something about being an Instructional Supervisor (for 9 years) and helping a student that maybe was not the most ideal, to learn our systems, succeed in our classes, take on responsibility, and then to watch them walk across the stage at graduation all the while having that student thank you and say “I would have not made it if it was not for you.”
Why become a teacher?
From the time I was 5 years old I wanted to be a judge, which first means becoming a lawyer. When I competed on the mock trial team and my team lost because the judge played golf with the other team’s fathers, I knew I was not suited for that profession. In loving the law and history, I decided that teaching would allow me to share my love of social studies with others. It is one of the most noble professions that, at its core, still has a pure sole objective - to help kids.
How do you keep current with the subjects you teach?
I am a visual learner so I watch the History Channel, Discovery Channel, Military Channel, etc. I also love movies and so I try to incorporate movies that students might have seen into my classes. Most of the time it is showing the fact vs. fiction of the movies, but it helps connect the students to the material. I try to stay relevant on trends and relate to my students on their level. I also listen to my students. They often have some of the best ideas, topics, and questions that can help me make my classes better.
What you hope to accomplish in the next year:
I have two things I want to accomplish this year. The first thing is for me. When I first started with PA Cyber I was an Instructional Supervisor and Virtual Classroom Teacher. It may sound funny, but I want to be able to manipulate the software the way I once did. I was able to talk about a slide on the whiteboard, while answering a private message and calling on a student, all at the same time. I want to get back to that level with our new learning management system. The second thing I want to accomplish this year is to help administration better develop the Blended Classroom model. Working with it firsthand gives me a perspective that I believe can help administration understand what works and what needs to be improved. The great thing about PA Cyber being on the cutting edge and always changing is that the administration is willing to listen and will help work with its teachers in order to make us an achieving school.
Casie Colalella / firstname.lastname@example.org
About PA Cyber
Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.