Classroom Technology Letter to the Editor

Don’t Judge All Online Schooling By This ‘Virtual Charter Hell’

February 18, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

The post “15 Months in Virtual Charter Hell: A Teacher’s Tale” in the Living in Dialogue opinion blog left me conflicted (Education Week Teacher, Jan. 6, 2014).

While I agree that the virtual-charter-school situation described is not in the best interest of students or teachers, what caused me more concern was that the blog post made it sound as though virtual schools should be avoided. I disagree. Not all virtual schools are the same.

As an online teacher with the North Carolina Virtual Public School, I can report that my experiences have been the complete opposite of those described in the blog. At the heart of every NCVPS program, employee, and teacher is the same goal: to do what is best for students.

We know that online learning is for all students, but courses are not one-size-fits-all. The key to making the course come to life for all students is the relationship between the student and the teacher. The teacher personalizes the course for students. With a class capped at 20 students, I have that necessary one-on-one time with my students. I have been fortunate to work with all types of learners. Whether I am working with students who excel, tend to struggle, or have special needs, I am able to meet their needs in the online classroom.

As an online teacher, I am always collaborating with my colleagues. We work together to share best practices and resources. Reflection is constant. We receive coaching and feedback on our teaching throughout the semester. We are always examining our best practices and refining them to better support students.

As an online teacher at a school where student success is the focus, I am saddened that there are some virtual schools out there giving online education a bad reputation. I would hate to see all virtual schools lumped into this category. The description certainly does not fit us all.

Jen Currin

Instructional Director

Credit Recovery, English, and Science

North Carolina Virtual Public School

Wilmington, N.C.

A version of this article appeared in the February 19, 2014 edition of Education Week as Don’t Judge All Online Schooling By This ‘Virtual Charter Hell’


Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Classroom Technology Spotlight Spotlight on Engaging Technology Tools
This Spotlight will help you discover how video games can improve students’ memorization, how tech can help English learners, and more.
Classroom Technology Schools Plan to Do More Business Online. But Most Don't Plan to Teach That Way
Online professional development, conferences, and parent meetings are likely to stick around after the pandemic ends.
2 min read
A Black businesswoman gestures as she talks with a group of colleagues during a virtual meeting.
SDI Productions/E+/Getty
Classroom Technology Remote Learning Linked to Declines in Achievement, Enrollment
Districts that stuck longer to fully remote learning have seen larger enrollment and learning losses, a study finds.
5 min read
empty chair at a home desk with an opened laptop
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Classroom Technology How This Superintendent Is Leaning Into Tech and SEL to Boost Kids' Reading Skills
Tech and social-emotional learning strategies aim to improve poor reading achievement.
4 min read
Illustration of girl using speech recognition software
uniquepixel / iStock / Getty Images Plus