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Teacher Spotlight: Lauren Epps

Teacher Spotlight: Lauren Epps

Using History to Connect to Today’s Students

For the past six years, including the last three with ALVS, Mrs. Epps has been a dedicated online educator, sharing her passion for social studies with middle and high school students. Her passion for history stems from a lifelong interest, and she cherishes the opportunity to instill this fascination in her students.

When Mrs. Epps joined ALVS, she appreciated the flexibility of being able to teach no matter what her location was geographically. Through ALVS, she has the opportunity to teach enthusiastic and engaged students online and is able to build stronger relationships with them in the virtual environment.

Another reason Mrs. Epps loves teaching with ALVS are the thoughtfully designed courses. “Once students understand what resources are there and how to use them, the courses are really laid out beautifully, and there are so many supports and tools available for students,” she said.

Mrs. Epps also mentioned that the practice assignments interspersed throughout the lessons are valuable tools, preparing students for the summative assessments or unit exams.

When asked what her favorite aspect of an ALVS course is, Mrs. Epps said that the discussion boards are, hands down. When students respond to different prompts, she is able gain insight into their thoughts on different topics and get their own personal touch on each concept. One assignment that resonated with her in particular asked students to pick a song and describe how it relates to a social movement in history.

Reflecting on this assignment, Mrs. Epps expresses the joy of connecting with students and witnessing their ability to draw parallels, “It’s really interesting to see what songs they choose and how they relate that back to the concept,” she said. This assignment helped her connect with her students through music and see how they make links with current events and historical topics.

One special aspect of virtual learning that Mrs. Epps did not expect was the connection she would make with her virtual students and, in turn, her appreciation for their interesting backgrounds, unique hobbies and lifestyles outside of school. “As teachers, sometimes we fall into the mindset that education is so fundamentally important, and obviously, it is, but when you see what’s going on in some of these kids’ lives, they need their education to be flexible around these other opportunities so they can hone in on these great skills they have as individuals,” reported Mrs. Epps. “It kind of makes you step back and look at education differently.”

Mrs. Epps advises new students and families to familiarize themselves with the course layout at the beginning, making the most of the available resources and supports. She also recommends using a calendar to stay organized and on top of due dates.

While acknowledging that not everyone shares her enthusiasm for every aspect of history, Mrs. Epps enjoys providing her students with a broad overview of historical topics. From there, students can delve deeper into the periods or concepts that they personally find most interesting.

When she is not busy being an amazing ALVS teacher, Mrs. Epps enjoys exploring her town of Charleston, South Carolina; frequenting the outdoors and staying active; spending time with her two fur babies; and cooking.

Learn more about our dedicated staff, faculty, and resources that make ALVS a school that offers students the flexibility and support to not only learn but thrive.

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