Teacher Appreciation Week: Mr. Michael Doerfler beat the hardships of teaching online

Posted at 7:08 PM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 14:48:59-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — COVID introduced most parents of school-aged children to the concept of virtual learning. Many couldn't wait for it to end.

However, 13 Action News anchor Todd Quinones introduces a teacher who has hit his stride online.

Meet Mr. Michael Doerfler, or Mr D, a third-grade teacher for Nevada Learning Academy. The academy is CCSD's only full-time online school.

"I'm loving it," said Doerfler. "It has challenged me creatively. It has challenged me emotionally. As an academic and teacher, it has challenged me, but in a good way. I see online learning as the wave of the future in general. I don't think this is now any longer a COVID-related situation."

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After the lockdowns, some parents and kids are done with online classes.

"In the beginning, when we first went into lockdown," Doerfler said, "it was tough for me."

For Mr. D, his passion for online learning was sparked by test results.

"Normal growth rate will be between 35 and 50 percent is what we hope for a class overall. What I'm seeing is more in the range of 63 to 85 percent growth in my reading this year," Doerfler said.

For many of his third-graders, English is their second language, or they have special needs. These are the kind of students who, traditionally, can be seen to fall behind in a traditional classroom setting.

"What I'm finding is, especially when I'm in small groups and one-on-ones, they can focus, and I can focus," Doerfler said. "We get more done. The growth I have seen is just staggering in some of them."