This week’s Teacher Spotlight is IVS Business Teacher, Robert Riggins. Mr. Riggins teaches Consumer Economics, Accounting 1 and 2, and International Business. Mr. Riggins earned a BS in Marketing from Eastern Illinois University and then a BS in Business Ed and a Masters Degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Illinois State University. Robert is married to a veterinarian with whom he has three daughters. His hobbies include running, rock climbing, and playing guitar. You can follow Mr. Riggins on Twitter @bb_riggins.
Robert recently took some time to answer a few questions for IVS:
IVS: Why did you decide to begin teaching online?
RR: About 20 years ago my principal and I sat in on a webinar about the IVHS (IVS’ predecessor). My principal encouraged me to apply. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
IVS: What aspects about the online teaching and learning environment do you appreciate the most and why?
RR: I appreciate how detailed and precise we need to be in our communication with the students. Not seeing them face-to-face makes us much more accountable for our instruction. It has made me a better traditional classroom teacher.
IVS: What benefits exist for students when taking an online course?
RR: I’ve seen the flexible schedule be a major benefit to many students I have taught online. Many students learn much better in the evenings and for many this is the online time they have available to study. Another benefit is meeting students from other schools and cultures. It is always great seeing students from far different backgrounds coming together to become friends. For many students the online environment pushes them outside the comfort level of the traditional school they attend on a daily basis.
IVS: What advice may you offer to students who are not sure if the online environment is a proper fit for them?
RR: My first piece of advice would be to take an online course in high school if they plan on going to college. Almost every student I keep in contact with that goes to college has had to take at least one online or hybrid course in college.
IVS: Why is IVS a special place to be part of?
RR: The teachers are top notch!!! They truly care about staying on top of the latest trends in teaching and about making a difference in students lives. It is always a benefit to meet teachers outside the brick and mortar building I teach in. I also enjoy seeing students flourish in the online environment. It provides a learning environment for students who do not like the traditional classroom.