Mr. Riddle is a special education teacher at INSPIRE, the Idaho Connections Academy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics/information systems from Baylor University and a master’s degree in education from Arkansas State University. Mr. Riddle shares his story below.
“I became a teacher to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs. When I moved to be closer to my parents, I took a job driving special needs children for the Corpus Christi School District, just to pay the bills. I fell in love with the kids immediately. I was exposed to the poor way in which many of the kids were treated both at home and at school, so I decided to make a midlife career change from healthcare to teaching, and here I am!
I chose INSPIRE after seeing a job posting on an online job board. I met the administration while I was on vacation in Idaho and I really liked the whole concept of virtual school. I think a virtual school can actually be more successful, especially from a special education point of view. A lot of the barriers that special needs children encounter in a bricks-and-mortar school are eliminated when you shift to a virtual environment because it allows the children to focus more on education and less on access, medical constraints, and negative social experiences.
With an online school, a teacher gets to spend much more time working with the kids and answering questions. The curriculum is already presented for the teacher, so it eliminates the “stand and deliver” portion of the typical teaching position, which leaves more time to mentor and guide the students.”
Mr. Riddle enjoys the cool nights and warm days during springtime in Idaho when everything begins to bloom again!
I think a virtual school can actually be more successful, especially from a special education point of view. A lot of the barriers that special needs children encounter in a bricks-and-mortar school are eliminated when you shift to a virtual environment.