Moving Full-Time Online

Launch English teacher Airin Bassett shares how her passion for virtual learning led her to a full-time job with Launch after spending 17 years in the classroom.
By Jared Chester

I’ve had the opportunity to teach for Launch as an adjunct instructor for the last four years. Now I’m leaving Ava, a district where I’ve been for 17 years, to join the Launch team full-time this fall. I started out as an English teacher in Ava, and I loved it—I taught English I, II and III, and then I took on a variety of different roles—I was doing yearbook, newspaper, I was teaching coding at one point—so I really wore a lot of different hats. And while I really enjoyed my time there, I’m also really excited to be able to focus on one content area this fall!

I first learned about Launch at the GOCSD Innovation Summit years ago. I remember hearing Dr. Lemmon speak about this idea that learning doesn’t have to be limited by your zip code. That was huge for me. I came from a small town and I taught in a small district—there are some really great kids and really great minds out there who don’t have a chance to grow or experience things because their school is too small. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of Launch.

I started teaching adjunct Launch classes in 2018. After my first training session, I thought, ‘Man, this is my bag! I really enjoy this!’ I’m a tech person but I’m also a people person, and I loved the blending of those two things with Launch. Once I got in, I didn’t want to quit.

I had my first experience teaching live Launch classes this summer, and I’ll be teaching Launch Live classes this fall. It’s great, because as a teacher you always want to have that real-time instruction—and that’s what isn’t as easily available in a virtual classroom—so being able to provide it is awesome! I’ll walk through the student’s assignments with them, and we’ll visit about how it applies to our lives. For the students who want this interaction and who need a sense of community, it is so beneficial. 

The biggest thing I like about teaching for Launch is the flexibility we provide, and the fact that we’re meeting students where they are. As education is continually shifting, we need to meet kids wherever they are. Maybe their situation involves a lot of practices, or maybe they’re involved in a production. Well, we can give them flexibility and freedom to do these things and still provide them with a quality education. This isn’t just some computer program where kids are checking boxes and moving on—this is really teaching, and it’s really good for kids. I love that, and that’s why I wanted to be a part of the Launch team.