Mrs. Christine Trudeau has been teaching for 17 years and 10 of those years within an online environment. Throughout her time as a teacher, she’s taught a variety of subjects and grade levels, from Elementary Special Education to High School American and British Literature. Before she arrived at PA Distance, she taught at both a brick-and-mortar school and a cyber school.
“The opportunity arose to teach English - online - and I thought that would be an interesting and unique experience,” she said. “And, since starting work at a cyber school, I’ve had the opportunity to learn how to use a lot more technology in an online environment.”
Now in her 4th-year at PA Distance, Mrs. Trudeau teaches English Language Arts to middle school students and focuses her lessons on reading non-fiction and fiction books, a lot of writing, and proper research techniques using the PA Power Library. This year, she also notes, her classes will be reading “The Outsiders” and “And Then There Were None”.
“Everything is tied with Career to Work standards,” she said. “Our goal is to make sure that students are prepared for life after high school. So I focus a lot on analysis, how to problem solve, and how to think critically within my literary lessons.”
This year, Mrs. Trudeau is teaching 8th-grade English Language Arts and participating in a new research-based concept called “looping” that comes with many benefits.
“It’s a really interesting concept that our administrators presented to us,” she said, after moving from teaching 7th-grade to 8th-grade and having the same students once again.
Teachers travel with their students as they move from one grade level to the next. This year, all of the PA Distance 7th-grade teachers have moved to teach 8th-grade. PA Distance teachers use the human connections and relationships that were formed in 7th-grade and continue with it when teaching 8th-grade. Studies show that with looping, students show significant improvement in their assessments and are more comfortable attending class and participating.
“It will be interesting to see what the results are and how our students react to it,” Mrs. Trudeau noted. “I am looking forward to seeing how my students grow from 7th to 8th-grade and I think it’s a great opportunity to be able to see their growth.”
Mrs. Trudeau also talked about her love for online teaching, since leaving a traditional school district years ago, saying, “I love creating online lessons and making them interactive for my students.”
“I learned pretty quickly that students love to chat online and are the most comfortable using online forms of communication,” she said. “Teaching online is fast-paced but I enjoy it.”
“There is a learning curve and things are constantly changing within the cyber environment, but we all help each other,” she said. “That’s something I never experienced at any of my other positions.”
“We have a great staff. Everyone is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful,” she added.