The journey of a lifetime

Current Doctoral Student at Nova Southeastern University's Instructional Technology & Distance Education Program

Class of 2025

Anna Ivelisse Clayton, M.S. Ed

Science Department Head | Biology /AP Biology Instructor

@ William H. Turner Technical Arts High School, Miami, FL 33147




I am currently the Science Department Chair at William. H.Turner Technical Arts High School. I also teach AP Biology, Biology Honors and Biology 1. 

Our school serves a largely Haitian population who are on free/reduced lunch. Our students come from low-income households with limited  resources.

Surviving 18 months of an Emergency shift to online teaching and learning was a difficult task for many. Lack of preparation, training, resources and vision from the ones in charge has led me to seek a Doctoral degree in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from NOVA Southeastern University. 


You can follow my educational journey on this site. Thank you for taking the time to visit. 


I have added a new blog! It is still a work in progress! I am hoping my journey can help someone else develop a clear vision, create a plan to follow it, and adjust to the twists and turns along the way. 

August 2020: Ready to take on Distance Education, entirely unprepared for the task. I was teaching from my house, and there was no platform provided until the SUNDAY night before school began. It was an epic failure and a lack of proactivity from our district. 

June 2021: Survived 18 months on "ZOOM". The world will never be the same once we return to the classroom.

FALL 2021: Decided to start this doctoral journey at NSU because there has to be a better way to tackle this online teaching. Students deserved better than what we provided. 

August 2021: Teaching during the pandemic was a challenge. Masks, 3ft apart, and keeping everyone safe. Somehow, we got through. 

December 2021: When students come back to see me, I finally see the smile behind the mask! 

Summer 2022: Hawaii is my happy place, and my husband is the anchor that grounds me, returning to my beloved island after 18 months of lockdown was good for my soul. The ability to travel again brought some sense of normalcy... if things can ever be normal again. 

December 2022: A year filled with uncertainty and much love. It was good to transition from wearing masks to seeing my students' smiles again. My husband and I finally traveled to Italy to see our son and things appear to be less grim. 

May 2023: This was a bittersweet year as we graduated the last freshman class to start high school before COVID-19. This is a harsh political climate to live through.

August 2023: And just like that, another school year begins. My health took a toll this year. This semester's focus is to work on my physical well-being so I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. I am teaching only 6 Biology classes, which should free up time required to work on content at home. 

November 2023: This was a challenging month with my health taking a terrible turn and needing major surgery. Complications from flu followed quickly after and I barely made it to Thanksgiving. Here is to better days and better health! Good-bye 2023!

January 2024: A lot has changed since I started this journey. I am on my third dissertation benchmark and have recovered well from my life-saving surgery. My health is on the mend, and I am on the road to better health. 

Personal Instructional technology philosophy

Instructional technology is a tool that affords teachers and students the ability to express, share, discover, and enhance ideas. Technology allows us to stretch our comprehension through creative use. When students can use technology to communicate, create, and discover ideas, they can also become engaged and learn more deeply. 


As a teacher, I must use technology responsibly to enhance my students’ learning experiences and lives. As a responsible digital citizen, I must remain current with the trends and adjust accordingly. Although I believe technology should be infused in as many aspects of instruction as possible, technology should be explicitly taught and selected to match students' needs and learning styles. This means, as a teacher, I have to know to know my students and how they best learn. 

In researching ways to improve my distance teaching practices and student learning experience, I came across many online programs offering some components of what I wanted to learn. When I found the NSU Doctoral Program, I knew I had to apply and take advantage of what was offered. I had always dreamed of completing my Doctoral Program, and when I read the description, I knew this was the right place for me. Interestingly, even though my Master's Degree is from the University of Miami, I always loved NOVA, as I was a former "TITAN" from Nova Middle School. 

I was enrolled in the bilingual program (1980s), and many of the strategies I used in my classroom were the ones used on me by my teachers during my education at Nova Middle School. My lessons' hands-on approach and authenticity stems from the teachers who taught outside the textbooks and sometimes outside the classroom. Applying for this program was an easy choice!

Follow my journey through this NSU doctoral program below: 

Links to goals, awards and accomplishments during my course of studies at Nova Southeastern University, FL

Links to courses completed and work samples of my
Doctoral in Instructional Technology and Distance Education
at Nova Southeastern University.