The Power of Relationships:

Real Student/Teacher Relationships are Success Game Changers

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Meaningful relationships between Teachers and Students transform teaching and learning!

What does a meaningful relationship between students and teachers look like in the f2f classroom?

The instructional delivery as online or f2f should not matter ...... the relationship must be strong, and it begins with the attitude toward the teacher role.


NCVPS learned.......

Our FOCUS, either Facilitator or Teacher, Defines the Teacher's Performance When Building Relationships

A facilitator by definition is “one that helps to bring about an outcome (as learning, productivity, or communication) by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance, or supervision <the workshop's facilitator kept discussion flowing smoothly>.”

That is not our role as teachers at NCVPS! The key giveaways are the words “indirect” and “unobtrusive.” A teacher by definition is “one whose occupation is to instruct.” Instruction requires connection, a relationship, and decisions that positively impact student learning.

image courtesy of stuart miles/

"The best thing about teaching is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day." Todd Whitaker

Content matters! But content ALONE is not effective learning -- research says student success is all about the relationship with the teacher!

"Although students have less time with teachers during high school, there is strong evidence that relationships with adults in these settings are among the most important predictors of success."

"Connection with teachers was a better predictor of many outcomes than was students’ sense of family connectedness. As with young students, the benefits of positive relationships with adults are not limited to social and emotional outcomes. Although both parental and teacher support are important in predicting students’ achievement, a recent study indicated that student-perceived teacher connection was the factor most closely associated with growth in achievement from 8th to 12th grade (Gregory & Weinstein, 2004)."

"Great teachers form strong relationships with their students and show that they care about them as people. Great teachers are warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring. Teachers with these qualities are known to stay after school and make themselves available to students and parents who need them. They are involved in school-wide committees and activities, and they demonstrate a commitment to the school."

This student need for teacher relationships doesn't change just because the delivery is online!

This belief changed everything for NCVPS.

Discussion: How important are teacher/student relationships in your online learning world?

If the teacher/student relationship is important, teachers must be expected to develop these relationships and givent he tools and training to do so.

And then they must be held accountable.

Who is NCVPS?

NCVPS Vision

•Expanding Minds

•Expanding Opportunities

•Expanding Connections through blended and online learning

NCVPS Mission
NCVPS serves learners with high quality online courses and expanded options in education.

NCVPS Non-Negotiables

•Students first. Do what is best for students. Know your students.

•Teachers matter. The power of a teacher can never be replaced.

•Communication. All stakeholders need to know what learning is happening with each student.

The NCVPS Instructional Model is how we develop those student relationships!

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Why? Factors that lead to the evolution of the NCVPS Instructional Model

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How? The Instructional Model: From Teacher Training to Implementation

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Need for Accountability -- Inspect what you Expect

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NCVPS Teacher Expectations 2014-2015

Supporting the Online Teacher Through eLearning Communities

The NCVPS Vision of eLCs

What is an eLC?

An eLC is time for all the teachers of a particular subject to come together, both asynchronously and synchronously, to discuss common instructional concerns, practices, successes, and reflections, all in order to improve student learning.

eLCs create an instructional culture, allow teams to set clear and measurable goals, and allow teams to collect and analyze the data to see if goals are being reached (Harry Wong).

Why have an eLC?

NCVPS believes in collaboration at all levels, and there is perhaps no more important collaboration time than teachers working together to evaluate what works and what doesn’t work for student learning. This is not a time to just teach and have no connection to other teachers in your area - so much can be learned when teams work together.

Two hundred studies have shown that the only factor that can create student achievement is a knowledgeable, skillful teacher (Harry Wong.) Harry Wong says, “The bottom line is that there is no way to create good schools without good teachers. It is the administrator who creates a good school. And it is the teacher who creates a good classroom.” The eLC helps us to improve instruction and do all we can to provide effective instruction to all students.

What does accountability look like in an eLC?

eLC time is a part of every teacher’s NCVPS contract. But more importantly, it is an excellent way to become a better online teacher. NCVPS expects every teacher to participate weekly, three weeks asynchronously and one week synchronously, to collaborate, to build relationships with colleagues, and to improve instruction.

What is my role in an eLC?

Each teacher’s role is to participate intentionally and not approach the eLC as “just one more thing to do” or as something on a checklist. Be committed; be a leader; make a difference.

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Results of this way of thinking?

  • Largest enrollments ever for 2013-2014 - over 52,000 full credit enrollments
  • Largest enrollment area? students with disabilities
  • Fall 2014 -- largest semester enrollment of over 25,000 full credit enrollments
  • Fall 2014 -- largest number of teachers under contract -- over 700
  • 83% pass rate
  • Expanding intervention options for schools
  • More effective teaching – Spot Check ratings

  • Stronger teacher/student relationships – Communication Journals, survey results

  • Enrollment from all 115 NC school districts

  • More returning students for a second NCVPS course

  • Low teacher turnover

  • All three General Education courses -- Biology, Math 1, English 2 -- exceeded state averages for End of Course testing for 2013-2014.

Discussion: What are you walking away with today?

Resources (right click on link to open in new window)