The Mentee Minute

January 13th, 2014 - Spring 2014 vol. 3

Getting to Know You

Teacher Quality and the Mentoring Team are looking forward to our first live JIT session this week. We are excited to get to know you and support you as an online teaching professional. Each week you will receive The Mentee Minute. Check out the many resources below to help you get started this semester. Be sure to fill out the Mentee Minute Survey at the bottom of the newsletter to document your participation and communicate with the mentoring team. Always call on your mentor for assistance.

GaVS Just In Time Meetings: Join Us Every Monday.

When: begins Monday, January 13th at 7:30 pm
Where: This is a mandatory (for new ETC instructors) online event. Join every Monday at 7:30 pm. The Adobe sessions cover key topics that you need to know, just in time! Spend 30 minutes in a large group setting, then head to breakout rooms for content specific help with your mentor.

Use the following link to join the sessions:

Please note: JIT for 1/20 will be a pre-recorded session with Jane O'Brien due to MLK holiday. Recording link will be emailed. Live sessions will resume Monday, January 27th at 7:30 pm.

Upcoming Dates

  • January Faculty Meeting: Tuesday, January 21st 6 pm and 7:30 pm
  • January Professional Development Meeting: Thursday, January 23rd 7:30 pm
  • Winter Professional Learning Symposium: Saturday, February 1st 8 am- 5 pm (Forsyth County Conference Center)

January EPortfolio Requirements

All instructors should have a Personal Profile and Professional Profile. All teachers will share their ePortfolio with the following groups:

  • Department
  • Quality Assurance Specialists
  • Teacher Quality
  • Assistant Supervisor of Instruction
  • Mentors (New Teachers: JIT and Fall 2014 cohort)

First Assignment Deadline

Just a reminder that this Friday is our first grading deadline. Nervous about putting in zeros, sending course updates, or making failing calls? Just ask your mentor. The JIT recording from this week will also have some helpful information regarding this topic.

Here is how Stephanie Arrington (Math DC) makes entering zeros just a little easier.

Previous JIT Recordings

Session 1: December 30th

Getting Started in Your Courses

Link to recording video:

Session 2: January 6th

Rolling Enrollment ~ Homepage Set Up ~ SPED Accommodations ~ Teacher Handbook ~ My Home Tips ~ Time Management Strategies ~ Useful Resources

Link to recording video:

Please be sure to click JIT Attendance while viewing session 2 to update our records. Thanks!

JIT Schedule

We have created a schedule for this semester's JIT sessions. Please review the dates and topics of the sessions.

Use the following link to take a look at what we will be covering this semester.

D2L Help and Shared Resources

Don't forget to check out the Teacher Toolbox for many helpful D2L tutorials. Use the link on the GaVS homepage, or the one below.

Here are a few of the items mentioned in this week's JIT session:

1. (Faculty directory)

2. (Support Staff Map)

3. (Impersonating Students in Orientation)

Engaging News

News Expectations

  • Announcements are posted weekly

  • Start date included

  • End date included if appropriate

  • News announcements are current, inviting, and informative

  • New announcements are varied -- text/images -- so that they are not confused with older announcements

  • News is used to communicate clear and concise information as well as provide additional materials, resources, and opportunities for students

  • Conditional release is utilized to customize the classroom for different groups of students

  • News announcements should be created in a way that does not distract from the learning environment. It is important to be cognizant of the varying Internet connections and devices students use to access the LMS.

Interested in learning more about News items in online courses? Check out the open resource course TOOL.

How might you engage students with News items? See examples below.

Wondering How to Create Those News Items?

Several of you have asked about making engaging news announcements. Take a look at the Jing below to see one of the many ways you can create new announcements. Here are a few things to note about this method:

1. Find an OER image
2. Manipulate/Edit the image with a program that is easy to use

3. Save as a new picture

4. DONE!

1. Using Google to Search

2. Using Flickr to Search

3. Image Chef

4. Wordle

5. Animation Factory TF Link:

New Teacher Spotlight

Have a great News item that you would like to share with others in your cohort? Send a screenshot of your News item and we will spotlight your best practice in the next Mentee Minute. Email Kelly or Joyce.

“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”
Dalai Lama XIV

Rich Copeland - Supervisor of Teacher Quality

As the Supervisor of Teacher Quality I am responsible for the Recruiting, Hiring, Training, Evaluating, and Supporting the teachers at the Georgia Virtual School. I also participate in the administration of the program for Georgia Virtual Learning. I have been in this position for two years. By far the most rewarding part of my job is to witness the talent and dedication of an incredible pool of educators. Georgia Virtual School has the best faculty in the state.
I taught and developed for the Language Arts at the Georgia Virtual School starting in 2007. I also taught in a face to face school for 14 years and continue to teach a college course on literature. I live in Savannah where my wife is the director of a historic property. I have two young girls that keep me plenty busy.


Jane O'Brien - Teacher Training Specialist

Greetings, Mentees!

Wow, what a phenomenal start to the school year! I am so pleased to be a part of the collaboration between the GaVS Mentors and this wonderful group of Mentees, and I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in discussions, observing classes, and sharing best practices. The enthusiasm of this Just in Time group is unsurpassed, and I, as a teacher, trainer, and leader, am beyond inspired.

Keep up the most excellent work and have an amazing week!


Survey: What do you think about this newsletter? How can we help you more?

Please fill out the form below after you have read this newsletter. Thanks!

Meet the Authors

Joyce Bearden ~ GaVS 2013/2014 Teacher of the Year; GaVS 2013/2014 Mentor of the Year; GaVS Latin Instructor since 2009

Kelly Gardner ~ GaVS 2012/2013 & 2013/2014 Teacher of the Year Finalist; GaVS English Department Mentor; GaVS English Instructor since 2007