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Public Teacher Turned Business Owner/Tutor

I am the oldest of 5 children. My Mom homeschooled all 5 of us while living in a foreign country. I was one of those typical teacher's pet type of students. I always wanted to go above and beyond to please. I loved reading and writing and would spend hours of my free time doing just that. In high school I started helping my Dad with his ESL students. He was teaching English classes to adults (classes by a native English speaker were hard to come by) and all the adults wanted their children to learn as well. So I started taking small groups a couple times a week, as well as volunteering at summer camps to help teach English. I graduated high school in 2015 but wasn't quite ready to return to the U.S alone for college. I took a gap year while applying to universities and teaching English and piano. In 2016 I started my freshman year at The University of Southern Mississippi where I double majored in Elementary and Special Education. I loved it. I was told that I was going to be an amazing teacher and that I had such a passion for struggling students. My spring semester of my senior year (2020) I did my student teaching in a self-contained classroom with students ranging from 5-10, and wide range of disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, deaf, and developmentally delayed. We left in March for spring break (I got engaged during this time), but then we never came back and schools (and students) went through a major change.

That summer, I accepted a job as a 3rd grade Inclusion teacher in a city near my University while my fiancé was in graduate school. I was so excited. It was my dream job at an amazing school.

That year was a difficult one. I taught summer school half online, and then half in person. Then, got thrown into a year of crazy that August. I worked with some really amazing and encouraging teachers, but no matter how much you get a long with your coworkers, it doesn't change the way public schools are and have been. The amount of pressure that is put on teachers do complete a million different tasks in a day, all while keeping a smile on your face, teaching kids, getting them ready for state and district exams, as well as dealing with extreme behaviors from students with terrible home lives, is the reason teachers get burnt out so quickly. On top of that, the salary isn't even enough to survive on. I made it through my first year, completely exhausted, but excited for our next chapter. My fiancé and I got married and he accepted a job in south Florida.

I got hired at an elementary school in Wellington, FL within 1 hour. With Covid, the teacher shortages were constantly growing. The position I got hired for was an Inclusion or (ESE) position but for the entire school. I was 1 of 3 teachers. However, there were no other ESE teachers, it was only me. For most of the first semester at a new school in a new state, I was the only teacher servicing every student K-5 in the school that had an IEP (Individualized Education Plan.) There was no way that I could fully do my job the way I was supposed to and the way I wanted to.

Which brings me to the present. I still want to help those struggling students and students with disabilities, just without the stress and exhaustion of public school. That is the 'why' behind INSPIRED Tutors. I want to inspire children to do their best and never give up, because sometimes, we have to work a little harder than the general population, and that's okay.

Love Jess

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