Where do you teach?
I teach for Launch online, and I teach seated courses at Reeds Spring R-IV High School. At Reeds Spring, I serve as social studies department chair, for which I currently teach mostly dual credit courses such as Political Science, College US History and College World History. This upcoming year I’ll be teaching Applied Psychology in addition to those courses.
Why did you decide to teach for Launch?
I like venturing into new things, and I have provided independent study courses at my school. Launch was a natural fit to expand my opportunity to impact students beyond my own job.
What do you like the most about teaching for Launch?
The interaction with students. I’ve met students from a variety of backgrounds, and some just needed the course I taught to graduate. Launch provides those opportunities to students and also allows students to access classes their school cannot offer. I have had several students from small schools throughout the state take honors courses that are not offered at their school!
Please share an example of a life you know you changed in your Launch teaching career.
I met a student last spring who was really struggling in life. She was pregnant, living with her boyfriend (whose father just left), and this left the family with few income options. She needed to take online courses so she could work. We met up a few times, and we really got connected with one another. She underestimated herself, but with my encouragement, she passed Liberty and Law. We even worked together to get her caught up in another course. Passing both of those courses allowed her to graduate instead of dropping out. We talked about how much a diploma would mean to her and her family!
What is it like being able to teach students statewide?
I love being able to connect with students across the state. In fact, about 1/4 to 1/2 of my classes are non-Springfield students, which allows me to connect to students while learning about their neck of the woods. I’ taught at a small district early in my teaching career, and I draw upon those rural examples to help out students in rural districts. In Liberty and Law, you often get a diverse set of opinions, which reflect socio-economic and rural v. urban characteristics.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If a school is reading and is thinking about joining up with Launch, I’d strongly encourage it because of the opportunities offered to kids. If a teacher is reading this, I’d strongly recommend joining the Launch team! We are growing and need educators to bring Launch to districts across the state!