Creating Communication

At Mountain Heights Academy, we believe that true learning stems from excellent communication, a willingness to ask questions, and a positive connection between students and their educators. If you’ve ever been a part of a classroom setting, you understand the difficulties of communicating directly with a teacher in a room full of peers. It can be difficult—and sometimes impossible—even when you’re in the same room, let alone when you’re back home working on assignments.

A traditional classroom setting doesn’t always guarantee clear communication, just as the traditional idea of online schooling, doesn’t always mean ineffective, or disconnected teachers. At Mountain Heights Academy, we pride ourselves in our unparalleled teacher and student interactions. How do we make it happen?

What We Need From the Educator

1. Hiring the right teacher.

Great teachers can be hard to find, but hiring teachers with excellent skills in communication can make the hiring process that much more difficult. We search for teachers that carry with them the ability to encourage learning, and the willingness to communicate with students and parents. Our multi-step hiring process allows us to find genuinely great educators who are interested and able to meet the needs of their students, however unique those needs may be.

2. Teachers with high accessibility.

The are many ways for teachers and students to keep their lines of communication open. No more tired coursework that’s easy to rush through without requiring the student to retain information. Our teachers care about curating coursework that is engaging and encourages learning.

  • Utilizing daily office hours. We make sure that each teacher has daily office hours. This way students can directly ask their educators questions, receive additional tutoring and even attend optional live sessions with their peers.
  • Chatting through various platforms. At Mountain Heights Academy, we use secure platforms that allow students and teachers to video conference. Sometimes a concept clicks easier with a one on one chat! Teachers are even able to share a whiteboard with students who need additional visual aids.
  • Phone calls and real-time collaboration. Often times a short phone call is all it takes to answer a student’s question. On the other hand, certain questions or concerns might take more time to find the right solutions. That’s why teachers and students can work on projects together in real-time collaboration. By working on the same document online, teacher’s are able to give suggestions, and explain ideas while a student is actively working.

3. Communication even on a tricky schedule.

Eventually, every student will need some assistance from their teacher. When this happens, students can schedule their school time to match the 4 hours per day that teachers hold “office hours”. If a student’s schedule isn’t alignable with a teacher’s office hours, they can make an appointment outside of those hours, when needed.

Each week, students will be able to view their teacher’s office hours, in the chance that they change from one week to the next. This 4-hour period is the perfect time for the teacher to speak directly to students, and students to clarify assignments, or express any concerns they might have.

What You Need as a Student

1. Check in with yourself and your teacher.

If you’ve been pacing your schoolwork effectively and progressing in your studies, it can be easy to fall into a place of complacency. Sometimes you might even feel like routine communication with your teachers is unnecessary. That’s why it’s important to check in with yourself and your educating team toward the middle of each course. Ask yourself some serious questions like:

  • What’s going well in this course, or what’s going well this year?
  • What can I do better to support myself as I continue learning?
  • What concerns and issues do I have with my performance?
  • If I talked to my teacher about what I could do to enhance my performance, what would they say?

Once you have answered those questions yourself, it’s a good idea to share your findings with your parents, and ask your teachers for any support you may have not have realized you needed.

2. Show respect.

The best way to communicate with your teachers is to show them that you value their efforts and time. Use your time wisely, as well as theirs. If you know you’ll be tight on time, but still need to speak with your teacher, create a plan for communication. Come prepared with your questions regarding an assignment, a specific task, or a particular concept. Not only is this showing your teachers that you care about your studies, but you care about their time as well.