“In my classes, I teach to the heart first and then the mind. Once I start to build relationships with students, the learning begins.”
At Bridgeway Academy, we consider teachers to be heroes, whether it’s you as a parent homeschooling your child or one of our amazing instructors. Every day, teachers passionately take on the responsibility of educating, supporting, shaping, inspiring, comforting, rooting on, and pushing students to be their best selves.
Teachers deserve all the recognition we can bestow upon them, and every so often we’ll be spotlighting one of our wonderful instructors in this blog. The first was Kimberly Bennett, our Live Online Lead Teacher. Next up is a fairly recent addition to the Bridgeway family, Courtney Markiewicz, one of our Lead Teachers! Let’s get to know Courtney a little bit better.
Bridgeway Academy: Can you share a little bit about your experience as a teacher?
Courtney Markiewicz: I have been teaching since 2001. I taught my first four years in a district in a suburb of Chicago. During that time I obtained my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Middle Grades Math at National Louis University. I then moved back to Pennsylvania and taught another 10 years in a public school district before taking some time off to care for my kids.
BA: What brought you to Bridgeway?
CM: When my youngest child was heading to kindergarten, I knew that I wanted to teach again in some capacity while maintaining a work/life balance. I was fortunate enough to connect with Bridgeway, where I could rekindle my love for teaching from the comfort of my home. I started teaching part-time in 2019, and I moved to a full-time role as a Lead Teacher in 2020.
BA: What makes Bridgeway special for both teachers and students?
CM: As teachers, we have a support system that encourages us to learn and grow in our profession. I feel like we are able to provide our students with this same level of support so they can also learn and grow.
BA: Which classes do you teach at Bridgeway, and what do you enjoy about teaching them?
CM: I teach middle school math classes, but primarily Pre-Algebra. I love teaching the class using a hands-on approach to help the students make sense of the math and understand it!
BA: What makes those classes in particular such a great experience for students?
CM: From my experience as a student, math was always a list of rules you had to memorize and follow. I strive to teach abstract math concepts visually and kinesthetically to help the students see and make sense of the math. I try to make the online classes engaging and fun for the students so they can have fun with the math and have a chance to interact with their peers.
BA: What favorite “moment” or memory stands out during your time with Bridgeway?
CM: When I first started teaching online, I was worried about not being able to connect with the students virtually. In some of my classes, I only see the students for an hour a week. At the end of my first year teaching online, I had a parent email me to tell me how her daughter started the year with math anxiety but grew to love the class and math. It was amazing to see the student come out of her shell as the year progressed, and that reassured me that I can make those connections virtually!
BA: At the end of the day, what do you hope your students take from your class?
CM: In my classes, I teach to the heart first and then the mind. Once I start to build relationships with students, the learning begins. I want them to walk away knowing that it’s ok to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. I also want them to learn to love math! I want them to question, wonder, and delve deeper into the subject.
BA: Many people–teachers, advisors, students, and parents–express how it feels like they’re all part of a larger Bridgeway “family.” What do you think contributes to that sense of community?
CM: I wholeheartedly agree that there is a family atmosphere at Bridgeway. Everyone that I have had the pleasure to work with is here to do what is best for students and their families. With this common vision, everyone is always willing to help out in any way they can to help our students and families succeed at homeschooling.
BA: What advice would you give to families who are considering choosing Bridgeway as their homeschool partner?
CM: Partnering with Bridgeway will provide families with a support system to make homeschooling a successful experience. Advisors will help to personalize a curriculum that best fits your family’s needs. The live online teachers will help to bring the content to life to make students excited to learn. Everyone that you encounter here has the best interests of students and families in mind.
Many thanks to Courtney for taking out of her busy back-to-school day to answer our questions–and a big shout-out to all of Bridgeway Academy’s incredible teachers for leading and inspiring our students. Bridgeway offers a high-quality education in a variety of forms–online, textbook, self-paced, and (as Kimberly mentioned…and teaches!) live classes, as well as the flexibility you’re looking for.
Call us today at (800) 863-1474 to learn more and see why so many families trust Bridgeway Academy with their child’s education.