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The Story Behind the Book

The Journey

        Teaching has never been optional for Dr. Lisa Richardson Hassler. Like eating and breathing, it’s something integral to her existence. Everyday she is thankful to be able to make a career from something that brings her so much pleasure.

       For over 18 years, she has taught first through fourth grades with the majority of her time in first and second grade. She always wanted to learn more, do more, and incorporate more for her students. So, she kept going back to school, even learning Montessori methods, and blending these into her traditionally trained strategies. Her classroom today is a fantastic montage of all the best methods she has learned throughout her years of teaching and learning. It's like a top 100 music hit list.

        That being said, Hassler sees the value of face-to-face and distance education. She has taught and been a student in both environments. As an adult, she took classes online and navigated her way through them, but it was a totally different experience than her face-to-face college classes. It took much more discipline.

        Later, Hassler earned a master's degree in online teaching and learning. It was future minded she thought at the time. How could anyone have known what was to come?

        Like many, Hassler saw the world struggle in 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic and experienced the impact as brick-and-mortar school doors closed and virtual school doors opened. She switched from teaching her face-to-face second-grade students to teaching online. The following year, she taught second grade concurrently with half of her class face-to-face and the other half online.

         The background and training Hassler had gave her the foundation to survive and even thrive in such educational turmoil. Still, she saw how this affected teachers and students in her school. The experience made her realize that virtual education is more than a charter school option; it is an educational reality that affects all teachers, students, and families.

         Hassler earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2021. During this time, she studied reading fluency and virtual school. What she found in her research surprised her and will most likely shock you. This is why she wrote this book.