Behind every graduate are several dedicated teachers. We’re grateful to our iSucceed instructors, and that’s why we take a moment to shine the light on them in this Teacher Spotlight blog series.
This month, we bring the story of a teacher and academic advisor here at iSucceed. Ms. Downs comes to iSucceed from California. Learn more about this awesome instructor below.
Ms. Tara Downs, Study Skills teacher
Ms. Downs may be from California, but her love for the great outdoors reflects the heart of any true Idahoan. She enjoys camping, traveling, CrossFit, riding horses and spending time with her family. You could probably guess another passion of hers: helping students discover their talents and learn to thrive after high school.
“I enjoy teaching iSucceed students because of the diversity. We teach all grade levels and have students from all different walks of life,” said Ms. Downs. “I like that I can teach a 9th grader who is looking for an alternative to a brick and mortar school while also teaching a 20 year old who is working full time while trying to earn their diploma.”
Ms. Downs teaches Study Skills. Getting to teach a more unique subject allows her to teach much-needed, real-life skills.
As an online instructor, Ms. Down’s day-to-day work life looks a little different from the traditional teacher. Just as online students enjoy flexibility, Ms. Downs likes that she can adjust her schedule according to the needs of her students.
“As an online teacher, we have a great deal of flexibility and freedom,” said Ms. Downs. “Our schedule can be adapted to our own personal needs and the needs of students. I like that I have the ability to take time in the week to do activities with my son, but I can also work in the evenings when certain students have the most availability. We aren’t limited to a classroom or the typical school hours.”
Customizing her schedule to student’s needs opens the door to more personalized communication, as Ms. Downs said.
“I think online school can be more beneficial because of the personalization and individual instruction. A student can work at their own pace in a comfortable environment and have frequent communication with their teachers,” said Ms. Downs. “Students have the opportunity to open up and receive personal attention. It also allows for students to work independently and carry the responsibility of completing school themselves.”
When it comes to advice, Ms. Downs goes by one philosophy: Hold yourself to high standards.
“My biggest piece of advice is to create a schedule and be accountable for yourself,” said Ms. Downs. “There is a lot of independence in online school, which also places a lot of responsibility on the student. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your teachers and ask for help. We are here for you and our goal is for you to be successful!”
- Do you have a favorite teacher? Give them a shoutout in the comments below!