In May 2016, I thought I was walking away from teaching for good. My last school was the best I had ever worked for. It was a charter school within Los Angeles Unified School District’s boundaries, and 90% of the students qualified for free or reduced breakfasts and lunches.
After working in property management for a year, I learned about becoming a vendor for charter schools in California that enroll homeschooled students. Because the teaching “bug” refused to be exterminated, I started with math, offering courses for homeschooled middle school students taught online using my unique curriculum.
It has been one of the best decisions of my life. I’ve been able to take my thirty-plus years of experience and pour it into creating a truly unique math curriculum that students find engaging, funny, and, most importantly, conquerable. Because the students are homeschooled, they don’t have to take a grade-level course based on their birth year. They enroll according to their needs, whether above grade level or below.
Unfortunately, because the students are using government funds through their charter school, they must take the standardized exams that every public school student must take, which must be the test for their assigned grade level. It’s devastating. Some of my students are experiencing success in math for the first time in their lives but are then faced with a standardized test that covers none of what they’ve learned because they’re working “below grade level.” All their hard work, and their strides, are completely unrecognized because of an unyielding bureaucracy.
Since my husband’s death from Covid pneumonia in March 2022, I have been using my “wife time” to champion school choice legislation in Idaho, the state we fled to as California refugees in 2018. I believe my role is to help Idahoans and Americans see what Education Savings Accounts can do for families, communities, and the country. As someone who has taught every level from kindergarten to college in traditional schools, charter, private, and home schools, I have a big-picture perspective and inspired ideas for the future of education that I am happy to share with everyone!