Teacher Talk: Mr. Scott Hardwicke

Savannah WaszczukAccess Launch, Meet a Staffer

Learn why Launch World Geography teacher Scott Hardwicke is passionate about online learning and how he teaches Missouri students while traveling the globe.

“One of the reasons why I teach geography is because my parents really got me to fall in love with history. Every summer, my dad would pack up the car, and we would drive to a corner of the United States and stop at every historical monument or site along the way. By the time I graduated high school, my mom and dad had taken me to 49 states and eight other countries. Going to college, I was like, ‘Why wouldn’t I want to tell people about this?’

At this point, I travel to a new country every year. I still go and try to see as much of the world as I can, and teaching for Launch has allowed me to continue to be able to do this. A lot of teachers teach summer school because they need the money—I can teach online, and it still lets me still go overseas. I can teach, and I can still go and travel.

Last spring I was in Nepal, in the Himalayas, teaching. I went on a mission trip, and my classes overlapped by about three or four days. I’d get up in the morning in Kathmandu, sip coffee and conference with students who were here in Missouri. It was the most bizarre thing, like, ‘Yeah, I’m 12,000 miles away right now, teaching you guys online!’ One summer I taught the first two days of online geography in France. I taught the whole time I was in Gulf Shores last summer.

Launch continues to let me teach kids, and to share my passion for traveling and share my passion for the world. Online also lets me teach so many different types of kids. As it’s grown, it’s changed. Today I see so many different types of kids who want to take an online class. Sure, some people would say that online is not for everybody and that there are kids who try online and they’re not successful, but you know what, there are also kids who try traditional classes and are not successful. I see a lot of successes in online classes. I have kids who are working full time and trying to get their degrees. I have kids with kids. I’ve also had several IB students—IB is a very demanding, rigorous program—and those kids need more time in their days. It is a different pace for them. Online really fits so many kids. I have online kids who go to Ivy League schools, and I have online kids who are working part time to provide for their family. It works for a lot of types of students.

Geography online is great–it’s a really great subject for an online class. With the tools that you can use, kids can see the world. It’s cliche, but the world is at their fingertips.”