Amir: How did you get into online teaching?
Latonya: Teaching has always been a part of me. I remember wanting to be a teacher when I was a little girl. I was the child who played school whenever the opportunity arose. I attended college and became a certified teacher. It wasn't until I completed the program that I realized that I could teach in different capacities such as tutoring, homeschooling, and now online teaching.
Outschool was my first experience with teaching online and it has opened my eyes to see that I can have the same connections with my students without being in the same room with them. I learned about Outschool through another mom in an online forum. I was intrigued so I checked it out, and signed up to teach almost immediately. The opportunity came at the perfect moment because I was beginning to miss teaching.
Amir: What do you like about teaching online, what are the challenges?
Latonya: The one thing I really enjoy about teaching online is interacting with students all over the world. I have students in California, Florida, Turkey, and other places who share with the class what is happening in their neck of the woods. I also like the fact that the age range varies which allows for diverse conversations and unique responses.
I haven't run into many technical issues yet though I will say that I struggle with lighting. I am not set up in a perfectly lit studio so I am often trying to figure out lighting so that my students can see the projects that I am trying to show them.
Amir: Tell us about your classes.
Latonya: I primarily teach art classes on Outschool. I love art particularly abstract art. I love the vibrant colors, and this is noticeable in my teaching. I also teach character education and a variety of math topics. Math is another one of my favorite topics because I struggled with it as a younger student. Now, I take those experiences to help the next generation build their confidence and understanding.
Amir: Is there a memorable moment from one of your Outschool classes that you can share?
Latonya: I don't have one moment that stands out, but one thing that I love about teaching on Outschool is that all of the students choose to be in my class so this makes a huge difference in the class atmosphere. My students are always encouraging one another and speaking positive words. There's often laughter. I love this!
Amir: What is your teaching style or philosophy?
Latonya: I am a laid-back teacher. I believe that students should be a part of their education so I take my students into account when creating lessons. I also believe that everyone is capable of learning which often means that the teacher has to be flexible to teach the student who is in front of her. I don't approach education as a one size fits all.
Amir: How is Outschool helpful to you?
Latonya: Outschool entered my life at the right time. I was getting the teaching itch again. Last time that happened, I dropped homeschooling and went to teach in a public school classroom. I homeschool my own daughters, but I also love sharing with others. Outschool has allowed me to continue to share my love of art and math while not causing me to choose between teaching my own children or someone else's. It truly is a beautiful opportunity for a teacher like me.