Julianna Evans returns to the cyber setting to teach students online out of our Andreas office.
If you ask teachers what made them want to become teachers, there is usually a story about a certain teacher or group of teachers that left an impact on their lives.
It is the same kind of story that inspired Julianna Evans, a 12th-grade English teacher at CCA, to become a teacher. Only, in her case, her teachers were the ones she had when she was a student at CCA.
“Growing up, I went through many of the hardships of being a teenage girl, like being excluded,” said Evans, who teaches at the Andreas Family Service Center. “And through all of those things I had teachers at CCA who would notice changes in my submissions and changes in my writing and they would reach out, saying, ‘Hey, what’s going on? I can tell something’s different. Is there anything I can help you out with?’ ”
“From that interest that those teachers took in me, I realized that it was something that I could do for someone else, and I decided I wanted to be a teacher.”
Evans attended CCA for six years. After attending Houghton College in New York, she moved to North Carolina, where she taught language arts to ninth- and 10th-graders for a year. While she found that job fun at times, the classroom management involved was much harder than she expected it to be, Evans said. So she decided to come back to Pennsylvania and started working at CCA.
“As much as I liked being in the classroom in college and doing student teaching and observations in the local schools, I think in the back of my mind I always pictured coming back to CCA because it was what I knew and what I loved,” Evans said. “I definitely think I was working toward that through all of college.”
Evans said the cyber setting gives teachers more time and flexibility to create stronger relationships with their students, because it isn’t based on the traditional teacher-student relationship.
“In the brick-and-mortar setting, you spend so much time trying to keep students on task that you don’t really get to know who they are outside of class or outside of the subject that you are teaching,” she said. “Because of field trips and the accessibility for students to call me or email me, we get to know each other better because we have more flexibility and time to talk about more than just the instruction or content. They aren’t rushing to get to another class or confined by the bell ringing.
“CCA’s setting lends itself to more interactive relationships between teacher and student, instead of it feeling like the teacher has to nag the students to complete their work,” Evans said. “We can take the time to be interactive and go back and forth communicating with our students.”
This is Evans’ second year teaching at CCA, and her second year using her perspective of knowing firsthand what it’s like to be a cyber school student to help those she teaches.