Mentee Minute

January 20th, 2014 - Spring 2014, vol.4

The Teacher Observation Rubric

This instrument is intended to identify the best practices of online instruction and to provide meaningful feedback to Georgia Virtual Learning teachers. The primary purpose of this tool is to continuously improve instruction and ultimately student achievement.

Take a look at the Teacher Observation Rubric for 2013-2014.

GaVS Just In Time Weekly Meetings Join Us Every Monday

When: Monday, January 27th 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.

This week will be a recorded session.

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)

Previous JIT Recordings

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:

Session 3: January 13th

Faculty directory - GaVS Support Team - Students Stuck in Orientation - Grading Tips

Link to recording video:

Please be sure to click JIT Attendance while viewing session 3 to update our records. Thanks!

Just In Time 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.

Conditional Release of Announcments

A conditional release allows only a select group of students to see an item (announcement, quiz, etc.). Teachers can set conditional releases based on a variety of factors, such as:

~ Group Enrollment

~ Content Visited

~ Quiz Attempted

~ Quiz Completed

~ Score on a Quiz

~ Dropbox Assignment Submitted

~ Discussions Authored

~ Discussion Scores

... and more

Mentees are encouraged to conditionally release a NEWS item next week. Mentors will be providing feedback. See samples below.

ConditionalRelease News
ConditionalRelease Dropbox

Course Updates

Course Update Samples

Mentors provided sample course updates below to help you get started. Remember to send out course updates after each due date Friday.

Check out this Smore newsletter that I send to parents:

Look at the other samples below:

Cool Tool - Sound Cloud

Helly Muller

Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper (Cover by Francine and Helly Müller) by Helly Muller

Allison Goggans

My name is Allison Goggans and I am a Quality Assurance Specialist for GAVS. Originally from Conyers, Georgia (Go Rockdale County Bulldogs!), I now live in Rome, Georgia with my husband Gabe and my two boys. I teach AP European History, HCP World History, and American History at Pepperell High School, and this is my sixteenth year teaching. Previously, I taught history at Buford High School. I am a graduate of the University of Georgia, and hold my Specialist's degree in Education Administration. I enjoy watching my boys play sports, going to the gym, and a good read.

Yvonne Hefner

Yvonne Hefner has been an educational leader practitioner for over 18 years in the public school. She has taught in the regular education setting and has worked as a teacher of students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional and physical disabilities. Her experience also includes working in special education administration. She now works full-time in higher education. She is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Georgia Gwinett College where she has the opportunity to teach education courses and supervise teacher candidates in their field experiences. Yvonne also teaches online doctoral courses.

Yvonne graduated with her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education from Piedmont College. She then earned an Education Specialist degree from Valdosta State University in Instructional Technology. She earned a doctorate degree in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University. In addition to her degrees she has attained certification in Special Education, Educational Leadership, and holds a reading endorsement.

Yvonne resides in Northeast Georgia in the small town of Clarkesville, which is about 90 miles above Atlanta with her family.

Kelly LaFauci

I have been teaching for 19 years in the public school system. I have taught math, science, language arts, and social studies at many different grade levels. I am an Area Chair/Lead Faculty for the Humanities department for an online university. I have been married for sixteen years and I have one twelve year old daughter. This is my second year as a Quality Assurance Specialist and I LOVE it!

Sandra Martinaitis

Education is a second career for me. Over the past dozen years I have taught French, English Language Arts, Math, and Literacy. I started with Georgia Virtual School in the spring of 2010 teaching French in the wonderful foreign language department. I have since helped with creating a test bank for one of the French classes, worked as a reviewer for copyright and accessibility for new courses, been the QAS for the foreign language department, and am currently QAS for CTAE Electives. It has been a privilege to watch Georgia Virtual grow and serve the diverse needs of Georgian students and to work with such a dynamic and talented group of people.

April Nix

Hi my name is April Nix and I am serving Ga Virtual School as a Quality Assurance Specialist.

I enjoy working with our teaching and supporting them in reaching their goals for professional growth.

I have been an Educator for 25 years and have had the opportunity to work in Private, Public and Virtual Schools. In addition to working with GaVS I am supervising student teachers for Piedmont College.
I am married and have 3 daughters, two son in laws, and 3 precious grandchildren. The grandchildren are the ultimate joy of my life. I love to garden, enjoy volunteering at my church and host a monthly book club.

LaTonya Richards

LaTonya Richards is a native of South Carolina where she attended the University of South Carolina to obtain her B.A. degree in English and Masters degree in Secondary Education. She continued her academic career at Liberty University where she completed her Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. After teaching high school for eight years she became an administrator for Henry County Schools. LaTonya has been a Quality Assurance Specialist with Georgia Virtual School for one year and thoroughly enjoys the expedience of working with teachers in an on-line capacity. She resides in Georgia with her husband and two children.

Kemberly Williams

I am originally from Madison where I live with my two adorable dogs, Ebony (Chihuahua) and Paco (Jack Russell Terrier). I come to you with over 15 years of educational experience. I have served as an assistant principal for student affairs for six years and an eighth grade algebra teacher for eight. As an AP, I have coached, observed, mentored, and evaluated over 100 teachers over multiple years. I am also a certified differentiated instruction facilitator, teacher support specialist, and an assessment of/for learning facilitator. This is my second year with GAV serving as a QAS. Last year, I served the CTAE department.

Let us know you read this and share your thoughts. We are always looking for great suggestions.

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