TEACHER PROFILE: KERRIE IRONMAN
After five years of teaching in a traditional school setting, Kerrie Ironman moved to the innovative environment at Xceed Preparatory Academy in Coral Springs for two years before shifting to Xceed Anywhere when it opened in July 2020.
“At Xceed, I love the flexibility to work with students one-on-one or in small groups,” shared Kerrie. “I’m able to develop deeper relationships with them and can see the direct and immediate impact I make in their learning.”
Kerrie, who earned bachelor’s degrees in History and Interdisciplinary Studies of Social Science from Florida Atlantic University, as well as a master’s degree from the American College of Education in Curriculum and Design, serves as Xceed Anywhere’s social studies teacher. She typically meets with her middle and high school groups separately twice a week and leaves her afternoons and Fridays open for one-on-one student sessions, professional development or to help with Xceed’s student government, volunteer projects and events such as Spirit Week.
“The misconception is that because we’re virtual, students don’t get the same experiences as they would if they were in a traditional setting,” Kerrie said. “I argue that actually, students get a more enriched experience because they advance through their classes at a pace that works for them, while leaving time for school activities and outside interests and passions. They’re not just sitting at a desk all day—they’re working as many of us already do in the real world.”
In fact, Kerrie has seamlessly integrated on-ground activities into her virtual classrooms.
“At the end of each group session, I leave time for free chat, so the kids have an opportunity to interact and talk about something that’s not school-related,” explained Kerrie. “This mimics the ‘hallway’ social experience at a traditional school, but we’re doing it together, in a safe environment.”
Kerrie also believes in bringing creativity and fun into the virtual classroom as much as possible, holding competitions for students to design the best Microsoft Teams backgrounds, hosting “bring-your-pet-to-class” days and having students share pictures of their weekends, if they are comfortable doing so. She also hosts a virtual party every six weeks that includes games and prizes.
“My goal is to engage students in different ways, building trust and fostering a genuinely caring environment,” Kerrie revealed. “At Xceed Anywhere, we’ve truly created a place where students can learn and grow in their own ways and I love playing a role in not only their lives now, but also in their futures.”
To schedule a virtual tour with Xceed Anywhere’s Head of School Betty Norton, please click here.