Not only is teaching hard work, it is a work of heart. One of those hearts at Achievement House is high school teacher, Leah Throckmorton.
Growing up in rural Michigan, Throckmorton was homeschooled by her mother at home for the majority of her education. “My mom felt called to do something different with our education,” said Throckmorton, “and I am glad she was brave enough to take the road less traveled.” The state of Michigan only added cyber schools as an option for students in 2013, therefore Throckmorton and her family did not have that as a school of choice. Her family instead chose to buy their own textbooks for school at home and they participated in 4H, community sports leagues, church activities, and homeschool co-ops. “Homeschooling was a financial burden on my family so we definitely would have investigated cyber as an option,” Throckmorton stated.
Just like the students she now teaches, Throckmorton learned how to organize her school day at home. “I had to learn to be more self-motivated and independent with my work,” Throckmorton recalls. “This is a skill you can have throughout life. I saw that my being done with the school day was really within my power. The faster I got through a lesson and completed the homework, the sooner I could get to all the activities I wanted to do. I wasn't ruled by the school bells or a school schedule. My school day would end when I was done with my work, so it was all up to me.”
During high school, Throckmorton enrolled in her local public school and graduated as Valedictorian of her class. “I loved my high school teachers. They definitely helped to shape me and contributed to my decision to become a public school teacher, however, I credit my success more to the love of learning that was already instilled in me.” Throckmorton hopes that she can be a similar inspiration to her students and her goal is to help them fall in love with learning. Her homeschooling experience helps her relate to her students as they transition to cyber school. “You can definitely feel like a fish out of water at first,” admits Throckmorton, “but just like I had to adjust by going day after day until it all became familiar, our students have to do the same. I know technology can be tricky and a bother sometimes, but if you force yourself to keep at it and keep trying every day, it will soon start to feel normal!”
“Throckmorton goes by “Mrs. T” with her students and is grateful to offer students a choice in how they are educated. “The reasons students choose cyber are as varied and diverse as they are, but we all become equals online,” said Throckmorton.
Throckmorton currently teaches ELA9, ELA10 and Anatomy, however, her heart is working as a special education teacher and being a homeroom coach to her students. Throckmorton has been a teacher at AHCCS since 2011. Her Master’s Degree is in Special Education from Saint Joseph University and her undergraduate degree is from Hillsdale College in Michigan.