At my old school, I wasn't living up to my potential. In a classroom full of other students, I felt isolated from the crowd and from my teachers. I was hesitant about speaking up in class, and that made me feel invisible, even when I knew I needed help. That all changed two weeks after my mom heard about Florida Cyber Charter Academy (FLCCA)—I enrolled, and haven't looked back since.
My teachers at my previous school were understandably busy—trying to establish discipline in the classroom, help the kids who were way behind, and keep everyone focused—but I often felt lost in the shuffle because of that chaos. I was not connected to my teachers and peers, and there was never really much motivation to change that. My confidence in the classroom was lagging and so were my grades.
Increased Confidence and Engagement
I am the first to admit that I was nervous about the transition to online school. It was a brand-new environment, and I wondered if I would finally get the attention I needed from my teachers through a computer. It was a welcomed surprise, and even a relief, to discover that online learning actually gave me the confidence boost I needed to become more engaged with my teachers and classmates—meaning I could finally establish meaningful relationships that would benefit me personally and academically. This new classroom environment created a judgment-free zone that made me excited to pursue my education like never before, and I saw what a big difference it made in my grades and my perspective.
Now, my teachers are my support system, and they inspire me to be confident and curious in school. Not only are they incredibly engaged during lessons, but they also push me to grow outside of the classroom and be an active participant in the learning process. Even outside of our office hours, they're willing to exchange emails and connect on the phone—opportunities I could have only dreamed of before.
When I enrolled at FLCCA, I was also concerned about developing new friendships, and I wondered if I'd have much interaction with the other students. I thought meeting new classmates online seemed daunting, but I had no need to worry. I'm now much more comfortable starting conversations—with students and teachers alike—than I was before. Since most of our communication is online, I like that I'm able to process what I'm going to say before I say it. Having that moment to think helps me make the most of every interaction, and feel comfortable speaking up.
I truly feel like I can do anything that I set my mind to, and the personal attention from my teachers has made all the difference in the world. I'm so proud to now have a 4.0 GPA and am excited to explore all the opportunities that are available. Although my relationships with my teachers and my classmates are physically one-dimensional, I've never felt like I've had so much depth in my interactions with people—and I can only imagine how this experience will help me continue to grow.