Purpose of James Brauer’s Blog

The world isn’t slowing down or “going back to the way it was”—more and more people are working online and at their home, going to school online, communicating, and collaborating with others digitally.

This blog is for anyone considering, or already enrolled, in an online school program. From tips on how to navigate a digital learning environment, all the way up through ways you can be proactive in maintaining your health and wellness while continuing your education full time, at home: this blog has it all!

Your Online School Success is our Goal

We’re here to help you succeed as an online and virtual school student. Find tools, hacks, resources and advice for getting the most out of your experience in an online school setting. With Dr. Brauer’s long history as a virtual educator, he can answer questions like “How do I get my kids motivated?” or “Is there a way to give myself more time to finish assignments?”.You might also find yourself asking questions like, “Am I making the right choice for my child’s online school?” or “What does an online educator do?”

If so, then this page is the best resource available to answer these questions and many others related to your online school experience. You’ll find answers in blog posts, videos, social media content, and more under a variety of topics in different formats that will fit your schedule and preference! Covering everything from online school tips to how to remain motivated and engaged while learning or teaching from home; this blog has it all covered with high-quality content written by experienced virtual educators. Dr. James Brauer has nearly ten years of experience leading a virtual public K-12 school, so he knows what’s needed academically, as well as mentally, for students to succeed in an online school.

Brief Bio of James Brauer

James Brauer is the Virtual School Administrator at Iowa Connections Academy. His team provides a personal, professional, and effective virtual school experience to students of all ages who are unable to attend traditional brick-and-mortar schools due to distance or other circumstances. Iowa Connections Academy strives for excellence in providing a positive learning environment that promotes academic rigor and success with individualized attention, resources, support services and opportunities for enrichment.

Professional Background

I’ve lived in four different states, from the Chicago suburbs to Kansas City and Iowa. After graduating high school I went off for my undergraduate degree at University of Kansas where I earned degrees in social studies education and curriculum & instruction while also picking up a masters on adaptive special education.

I began my teaching career in the USD 500 Kansas City KS school district and I have great memories from my time there. My colleagues were some of the most important people for me, because they helped build a strong foundation for what would become an outstanding future as a teacher.

After several years at USD 500, I completed an education administration program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City which led to a new position as an assistant principal at the North Kansas City Schools. My assignment was at an alternative school for students with special needs.

In 2012, I secured a position as principal of Iowa Connections Academy (IACA). IACA is a public, virtual school serving students in grades K-12 from throughout the state of Iowa.

Academic Background

My academic background includes the following:

Personal Interests

Outside of my work life, I have found hobbies in: smoking meats and cooking; gardening; learning foreign languages; and blogging/YouTubing

My Theoretical Framework

I believe this is important to share because it explains more about my philosophy and explains why I think the way I do.

  1. Connectivism – This is a learning theory that suggests individuals gain knowledge by connecting with various nodes of information, making meaning from that information, publishing/sharing their newfound information with others so ultimately others can learn. This creates a network of learning that builds and expounds from groups of people.
  2. Personal Learning Networks (PLN) – Individuals create their own networks, or systems, of information that they use for learning or collaborating. In a professional sense, one’s PLN is likely where they gather new information from colleagues or experts. A PLN can include: blogs; YouTube channels; Twitter handles and hashtags; etc.
  3. Empathetic Leadership – This is a leadership style gaining more traction, as of late. This management style suggests that employers, organizational leaders, and managers exercise a style that prioritizes the emotional needs of its team members. Having the ability to understand the needs and emotions of employees helps a leader make responsive decision-making. An organization’s climate and culture is also more likely to be positive with empathetic leadership traits practiced by its leaders and managers.
  4. 8 Dimensions of Wellness – This framework was developed to consider all the various components that derive one’s overall wellness. Within the framework include the following types of wellness: a.) emotional; b.) environmental; c.) financial; d.) intellectual; e.) occupational; f.) physical; g.) social; and h.) spiritual. Through self-care, personal development, effective practices through leadership and management, and an empathetic leadership style, organizations with which I am associated can achieve highly effective results.

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