Arabia Mountain High School teacher uses effective intervention tool to assist students.

By Carla Parker

Bailey Kirk teaching in classroom.During this new way of learning in the virtual space, many teachers are creatively developing instructional methods to make sure their students are still receiving the best education possible.

Arabia Mountain High School teacher, Bailey Kirk, is one of those teachers. Ms. Kirk, who teaches ninth grade algebra, uses IXL as an intervention tool in her classroom. IXL is a learning site for K-12 students. Kirk said she uses the program with students who need additional practice on solving math problems.

“Students that need more practice can go through more practice questions and gained the understanding that they need by getting real-time feedback—which questions were correct, and if it was wrong [then] how to correctly solve the problem,” Kirk said.

This program recently helped one of her students who struggled with an assignment, according to the student’s parent. The parent said that her student was stuck and struggled through a couple of math problems. The student contacted Ms. Kirk via Microsoft Teams, and Kirk immediately responded to the student and began a one-on-one session with the student.

After the session, the parent called the school to complement Kirk’s commitment in assisting the student. “Great Teacher. Truly appreciate her commitment to helping our students achieve,” the parent stated.

Kirk said it feels good to receive positive feedback during this virtual learning experience.

“It feels really good because some days you feel like you got it, but it’s not received well by parents or students,” she said. “On other days, the students are all on. It feels good to receive feedback from parents that isn’t negative.”

Kirk is in her second year with DeKalb County School District. She started as a student teacher and became a full-time teacher last school year. She said teaching virtually has been better than what she expected coming into the new school year.

“I realized that a lot of what I did was virtual-based,” she sad. “So, it was easy to switch to virtual. My students, overall, have been able to switch pretty well, such as with engagement and things like that. I’ve enjoyed it, compared to what I expected.”

Kirk said she understands that her students miss being in the traditional learning environment, but she makes sure her students are still having fun while learning virtually.

Teacher Bailey Kirk uses zoom.“Of course they want to be in the classroom with their friends. A lot of them have been expressing that, but they’ve also been expressing that they have been enjoying my class Zoom and they get excited to come to my class. We’re still interacting, we’re still having discussions even though we’re not physically facing each other.

“I try to make everything fun,” Kirk added. “Even though we’re virtual, it doesn’t mean I have to change my [lesson] plan. In the classroom, I would typically do scavenger hunts around the room or mazes and other fun activities. So, I’m trying to turn those [activities] virtual and let the kids do the same activities they would’ve done physically in the classroom.”