A virtual school teacher keeps students and parents engaged

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — It can be a big challenge, but Florida Virtual School teacher Ashley Recchi has found a unique way to keep her students and their parents involved in their child’s education.

What do you want to know

  • Ashley Recchi teaches 35 students at Florida Virtual School
  • Recchi finds a way to keep students engaged and thriving online
  • She even makes time for the students to socialize
  • Recchi said parents tell him they also feel more involved

“During my class, I have 35 students,” said Recchi, this week’s A+ teacher. “Thirty-five faces look at me, and I love every one of them.”

While many of its fourth graders are new to the virtual learning environment, they are engaged in the classroom and thriving,” Recchi said.

“Kids are resilient and they pick up on it really quickly. Honestly, I think they appreciate the independence they feel.”

There are plenty of opportunities for students to be social.

“I would say their favorite thing to do is probably doing what we call breakout rooms, where they can collaborate together,” Recchi said. “Every week I make a lunch where it’s not instruction. It has nothing to do with homework. They can just come in and be social. They’ve really started to get to know each other that way and to make their own connections.”

Recchi has two decades of teaching experience, some of it in traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms.

But she said virtual teaching is special.

“My favorite time is class time because I get to be with the students, and that’s what really motivates me is seeing them grow and succeed,” Recchi said.

Many of his students’ parents also seem to like the connections they make.

“Parents tell me I’ve never been more involved in my child’s education, and now I can really see what they’re learning, what they’re struggling with, what they’re thriving in,” said said Recchi. “It’s a piece of the puzzle. We all have to work together.”

Perry A. Thomasson