In this edition of the Owl blog we find out more about Owl Professor Neely Carter, whose love of learning and teaching fuels the enthusiasm he brings every day to the virtual classrooms of iUniversity Prep:
About Mr. Carter:
“Before I joined the iUniversity Prep family, I taught at three other schools in Texas. Earlier in my career, I was a recreation minister at a church in Wichita Falls, and I also led programs at a number of recreational camps. Now I teach social studies, speech, technology and math at iUniversity Prep.”
How does your current job stack up against your previous jobs working in recreation?
“I had a lot of fun doing those jobs—but not as much fun as I have working at iUniversity Prep! It’s the best job I’ve ever had.”
What makes teaching at iUniversity Prep such a great job?
“In a word, culture. Dr. Rogers has created a culture where teachers are supported and students are valued. A lot of organizations claim to do the same, but this is the first place I’ve ever worked where the employer’s stated culture matched up with the actual culture.
In other words: relationships matter at this school. Sometimes the business of education can get bogged down with bureaucracy and teaching content, and relationship development goes by the wayside. That doesn’t happen at iUniversity Prep.”
What else do you like about working here?
“The kids, of course! iUniversity Prep students are absolutely amazing when it comes to their focus and diversity of interests. Many are quite gifted, even famous, in their areas of specialty. But at the end of the day they’re just kids, and the flexibility of the iUniversity Prep program gives all of them opportunities to shine, even if they’re not a superstar in an extra-curricular activity.”
Do you ever go watch your students who are in extracurricular activities perform or compete? “You bet! Watching the swimmers has been particularly eye-opening. I never knew how much training it takes to be a top-tier competitor in that sport. I’ve really enjoyed getting to hang out with parents at these events and have even made friends with some of the swim dads. Their support of their kids and the pride they take in their accomplishments is wonderful to see.”
What is your favorite class to teach?
“Tough question! I love all of them, but there’s no doubt that my ruling passion is history. I love talking about history and inspiring a love for historical topics in my students.”
Do you think that you would have been an online student if virtual school had been an option when you were growing up?
“That’s an interesting question, and one that my colleagues and I discuss often. I don’t know if I would have tried online if I’d had the chance, but I can tell you that I probably wouldn’t have been a good online student. I was a bit of a late bloomer in that I wasn’t highly motivated as a kid—my drive came later as I gained maturity. This is one of the main reasons I enjoy working with students, in fact. We all develop on different schedules—kids who take longer to blossom often need extra support (and patience) in order to realize their full potential.”
What advice do you have for parents or students who are considering online school?
“Choose iUniversity Prep—you won’t be sorry! But before you do, do your research and make sure that online school is right for your child. A flexible schedule opens up a lot of opportunities for kids, but it’s not the right environment for everyone. Online students need to have strong self-management skills (or the high potential or willingness to develop them) in order to succeed.”
Any Mr. Carter fun facts to share?
“Back in the day, I was the only district tennis champion at my high school in the metropolis known as Gorman, Texas. But please—no autographs.”
That’s very cool! There are quite a few tennis stars enrolled at iUniversity Prep. Have you ever played any of them?
“I have, and they beat me handily. But I had fun, which is all that matters. I have not played Leo in tennis yet but I would love to s
et that up!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Kaye Rogers received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration with a minor in Statistics from the University of North Texas. She earned her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Tarleton State University. A life-long Texan, she has taught math and science in public schools and also in Spain. She has worked in public education for over 18 years, where she is committed to innovation and choice for families. She has opened three choice schools and is currently the Director of Virtual Learning at Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, where she oversees their state-wide virtual school and blended schools program.
Learn more about iUniversity Prep and see if online learning is right for your child. Check us out at www.iuniversityprep.org or give us a call at 817-305-4895.
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