The pandemic has been devastating for school communities and as the quarantines and disruptions have dragged on, it’s led scores of educators at traditional schools to leave their jobs.
Some teachers have stepped away from the profession entirely but many others have instead moved to alternative education models, embracing the role of innovators in this time of crisis.
A recent report from The 74’s Linda Jacobson introduced us to a few such trailblazers, including Heather Long, a former counselor at a New Hampshire school district. “I started to watch as more and more restrictions were being placed on kids,” she said in an interview. “I felt like I couldn’t reach the needs.”
That feeling of helplessness is one reason Long left her job in December and began running a microschool out of her home as part of Prenda, a network of tuition-free, small-group programs in six states.
Both Long and Jacobson recently appeared in an online panel discussion about educators who have embraced new career paths during COVID, organized last week by both The 74 and VELA Education Fund. Watch the full replay of “Into the Unknown: Why Teachers Leave the Classroom to Launch Nontraditional Education Programs.”