Starting School Virtually

As Summer 2020 is nearing a close, many teachers, students and parents find themselves struggling to imagine the upcoming school year amid the continued COVID-19 pandemic. While districts may vary in their approach to overcoming the challenges of the "new" normal, it is likely that online tools will play a large role in how teachers not only deliver lessons but also build valuable relationships with their students and parents, guide students through academic hardships and provide socio-emotional support this fall.

In this OpenRICE session, we invite practicing educators to discuss what it looks like to begin the school year with online, non-face-to-face learning formats, highlight their key learnings from the 2019-2020 school year, and provide suggestions of how teachers and educational leaders can address potential roadblocks to establishing a solid groundwork for the school year.

Discussion topics will include:

  • Online tools and techniques to promote effective learning
  • Engaging parents to support building good practices with their students
  • Building relationships with parents and students via technology
  • Engaging collaborative groups of students to work together to stay on track with a virtual classroom schedule
  • Identifying and combating students who become disengaged


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About the Panelists

Jessica Bautista has taught elementary and middle school science to diverse learners for the past five years in Houston ISD. She recently earned her Masters in Teaching from Rice as well as certification for Principal as Instructional Leader. She has supported pre-service teachers at Rice, served as an Instructional Coach in a remote learning setting, and now serves Patrick Henry Middle School as a Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Coach. As an instructional technology coach, she works to provide instructional support so educators can effectively leverage technology to increase student engagement and achievement, whether virtually or in person.

Jordan Hawkins is currently an 11th grade U.S. History teacher at Houston Independent School District’s Sharpstown High School, and was previously a 10th grade World History clinical teacher at Heights High School. Prior to becoming a teacher, Jordan spent several years in public relations and now utilizes the skill sets she built creating integrated marketing platforms for restaurants and hotels to develop engaging lessons to implement in the classroom. Jordan’s primary objectives as an educator are to create an environment that cultivates student driven learning, construct lessons that address the needs of each student, and promote diverse, cooperative, and multicultural learning. Her approach aims to inspire students’ individual curiosities, encouraging them to not only learn but discover their own personal ideologies, interests, and beliefs.

Jasmine Hopson is a rising 4th year teacher at Chancellor Elementary School in Alief ISD. She has experience across the Elementary grades in primarily ELAR subjects. She is a wife and mother of a two year old son. Her interests include reading, traveling, and community service.

Audrey Stein is a PhD student in Learning Technologies at UT Austin and Graduate Research Associate at The University of Texas System. Her research interests include gamification, digital equity, and online communities of practice. She previously taught middle and high school science in Houston ISD and completed her MAT at Rice University. When she’s not working or studying, she loves cooking, playing video games, and being outside!



Are you an aspiring teacher or education administrator?


The Glasscock School's Rice Education programs offer a comprehensive educational program that integrates work in courses with field-work experience. Additionally, we facilitate a network of support for our students and alumni so that we ensure our teacher leaders continue to grow and evolve as professionals.

Programs Include:

+ Alternative Teacher Certification
+ Master of Arts in Teaching (Paths for New & Experienced Teachers)
+ Principal Certification

Join us for a free, convenient information session featuring Rice University's Education programs. This is a great opportunity for you to meet our program faculty and staff, who will be on-hand to present information and answer your questions. Choose a date and time that best fits your schedule.


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