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What Does an Online Teacher Do?

Did you know you can be a teacher without working in an actual classroom?

Meet Shannon McCreary.  She’s an Online Curriculum and Instruction Specialist at Educational Service Center (ESC) of Cuyahoga County.  She works with students who are part of the Ohio Online Learning Program. The program allows students to still be part of their local school district, while learning online at home.  That means they can earn a local diploma and participate in district sports and extracurricular activities at their schools.

How do you get a career in online education?

Shannon graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania with a degree in early childhood and elementary education. She had a hard time finding a full-time position out of school, so she worked in various substitute positions.  When a friend suggested she look into online learning, she decided to give it a try.  She’s been doing it ever since.

What it’s like working in online education

Shannon has many different roles in her position at ESC and the Ohio Online Learning Program.  She helps work with districts to set up online learning programs.  She’s also a Student Learning Advocate.

As a Student Learning Advocate, Shannon is the liaison between students and parents and the teachers and administrators at the schools. She works directly with students and their families, making sure students achieve the most out of the program.  Shannon is pretty much available all the time, by phone, email and text, to help students.


How being an online teacher is different

Obviously, working with students online is a little different than in the classroom.  When you’re in the classroom with them, you can see the “light bulb” go off when they finally understand something.  That’s not possible when you’re working with them online.  But Shannon says she’s learned that when you’re working through a problem with a student and something clicks, you can actually hear it in their voice.

Shannon only sees online school programs growing.  She loves it and finds it very rewarding.

Why Shannon became a teacher


Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Elementary & Early Childhood Education

Learn more about ESC & The Ohio Online Learning Program here: http://www.esc-cc.org/ohioonlinelearningprogram_home.aspx

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