As an online learning academy that teaches students to follow their creative drive, PionCreator’s greatest asset is our talented educators. We would not be able to have engaging, interactive extracurricular STEAM classes without them.
In our last blog post, we discussed five benefits to having an online teacher, but to show how our teachers really shine, we need to discuss them individually. In this series, we will introduce you to PionCreator’s excellent educators.To start off, we are going to have a peek into the life of Amber Bottensek.
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
120-hour TEFOL Certificate
Endorsements in Language Arts and Middle School
In 2019, Amber moved to Utila, Honduras, a coastal Central American country. She was originally from a small town outside of Chicago, Illinois.
Courses on PionCreator:
Captivating Canva Creators - In this engaging course, the students will create their own eye-catching digital presentation through the free digital design tool Canva.
Create Digital Presentation with Canva - In this course, the students will create their own eye-catching digital presentation, and help students gain a foundational understanding of design thinking.
The Passionate Podcasters - In this class, students will learn the importance of interviews, they will learn how to research, develop appropriate and interesting interview questions, and understand the proper interview etiquette. In the end, students will upload and publish their interview recordings to a podcast as a podcaster!
The Art of Recycling - These lessons and ideas will inspire your kids to reduce, reuse and recycle! Arts and crafts is an integral tool in child development as it fuels their curiosity, and creativity!
Answers to Common Questions from Kids:
What Do You Love about Your Classes?
Amber enjoys having fun with her students, who she views as fellow creators. She likes to keep her students engaged by keeping them always guessing, or moving, or searching for something. Working through a screen hasn’t stopped her from learning how to get students excited about learning.
In fact, they seem to excel at learning online. “Students just love technology…. Children are the future of technology,” Amber said. “I’m excited to share my creativity and passion with kids.” She loves using her classes to help kids practice using the tools available to them to create, and she loves sharing her eye for design in her class about Canva, a free online image manipulation tool.
“I’m excited about the Canva class because I use Canva every day.” In fact, Amber made a lot of the images used on the PionCreator website.
What Do You Like To Do for Fun When You Aren’t Teaching?
Amber loves spending time in nature. Living in Honduras, she has plenty of time to get in the ocean. “I love to SCUBA dive and go on our boat,” she said. She has also enjoyed a whale shark dive and a bull shark dive.
She also loves creative pursuits, like painting and creating digital art, and she even creates arts out of found objects and items from nature. An important idea Amber wants to pass on to her students is to recycle and not just throw things away. Seeing things wash up onto the beach in Honduras has reinforced her passion to reduce pollution by reusing objects as much as possible, which teaches in her course, The Art of Recycling.
Do You Have Any Kids or Pets?
Amber doesn’t have kids of her own, but she is involved in the lives of many students, her six nephews, and one niece. Even though she doesn’t have a human child, Amber says, “I do have lots of pets that are like my children.” Amber currently has three dogs, two cats, a scorpion, and a tarantula. “All of our animals are rescued. I didn’t choose them; they all chose me.”
Some people find pets like scorpions and tarantulas terrifying, but to Amber, they’re an inspiration. “I really wanted to teach travel because that’s something I’m really passionate about. When I was trying to decide what I wanted to teach… I was watching the leaf cutter ants in my house… and I realized of course! It’s got to be bugs.”
Are You Scared of Any Bugs?
In her own words: “Cockroaches are my number one bug to be scared of - it’s something in the way they move.”
Answers to Common Questions from Parents:
What Have You Learned in Your Prior Experiences about Teaching?
Amber has experience with ages ranging from preschool and kindergarten up to alternative high school. “I always make sure to be very encouraging: that’s something I learned in student teaching.” She tried to relate to the students, since she was still a young adult herself, and the students enjoyed making a connection with her. She said, “I feel like I gained their respect in a way a more authoritative teacher might not have.”
More recently, working in online schools, she has learned how to keep online learners interested in the lessons. “I used to teach English to Chinese students, and that’s something that’s shown me I need to be very interactive…. I make sure I use their names and listen to their interests to keep them engaged.”
What Is Your Teaching Philosophy?
“With my teaching, I want to share my passions with my students, and I want to help them build their passions as well.” Amber encourages the students to stay engaged with the classes by using positive reinforcement and by letting them share their ideas. “I always want my students to share as much as possible. I want them to talk as much as possible as long as it’s connected with the class.”
What Do You Enjoy About Working with PionCreator?
PionCreator develops its courses as part of a team effort between the curriculum developer, a subject matter expert, and the teacher.. “I love working with PionCreator because I love the collaboration aspect and the support that I get…. We all put things together to make the most sense. We’re a very good dynamic together.”
Another aspect of PionCreator Amber enjoys is that all classes are very hands-on, student-led, and project-based. “We’re going to be creating in every single class.”
How Can I Sign Up for One of Her Classes?
You can sign up for any of PionCreator’s courses on our website! If you’re interested in learning more about how our lessons work, check out one of our free trial classes. In these half-hour classes, you will learn more about PionCreator and about the curriculum we use for the class you’re interested in.