“It’s so special that our team members and students may be spread far apart, yet the community we cultivate through our teamwork and learning is so strong.”

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 was Courtney Markiewicz, one of our Lead Teachers. In our newest spotlight, we’re talking to Colin Hickey, a fifth-grade Live Online Teacher with Bridgeway. Let’s get to know Colin a little bit better!

Bridgeway Academy: Can you share a little bit about your teaching experience and background?

Colin Hickey: I started off my teaching journey by attending college for a bachelor of science degree in education, during which time I became dual-certified in childhood and special education. Right after finishing my degree, I decided to jump right back into school and obtain my master of science degree in education. I also obtained two more teaching certifications in reading and literacy for Birth-6 and 5-12.

While I was getting degrees, I was a substitute teacher at my college’s local school, so I spent most of my days in an 8:1+1 (student-to-teacher ratio) classroom as well as with kindergarteners and fourth graders. After finishing up my master’s, I found my position at Bridgeway Academy. Last year was my first year with Bridgeway, teaching fifth grade, and I am very excited to continue again this year as a fifth-grade teacher.

BA: What brought you to Bridgeway?

CH: A couple of things. First was Bridgeway’s mission “to help students discover and pursue their personal excellence.” What also drew me to Bridgeway was when I found out I was able to work with students all over the world. I believe that is such an amazing thing not only for students, but for myself to experience as well.

In school, we always learn about these places that feel so far away. But when we get to talk to students who actually get to live it on a day-to-day basis and bring their experience into the classroom, it makes for a much more authentic learning experience.

BW: What makes Bridgeway special for both teachers and students?

CH: Having the privilege to work with such an amazing team and amazing students from around the globe. It’s so special that our team members and students may be spread far apart, yet the community we cultivate through our teamwork and learning is so strong. I get to work with students from all over the world who then share their unique experiences with myself and their classmates. With all these unique perspectives, we learn so much more than what’s in textbooks.

BW: Which classes do you teach for Bridgeway, and what do you enjoy most about teaching them?

CH: I teach fifth grade science, social studies, math, and English language arts. I love to teach fifth grade because it is such an important year for students as they transition to middle school. I also love the content that students are taught in fifth grade. I am really passionate about the content we cover, which spans so many different topics that students find interesting in all subject areas.

BW: What makes those classes in particular such a great experience for students?

CH: I think that students really love fifth-grade classes because they have started to figure out what they really enjoy learning. We cover so many different amazing topics throughout the year. Students will have something upon which they can really expand their knowledge base. Maybe it’s something they’re already passionate about. Hopefully they’ll also be able to find a new passion or interest in other subjects as well.

BW: What favorite “moment” or memory stands out during your time with Bridgeway?

CH: One of my favorite teaching moments from last year was during our space unit in science. The whole class loved the unit, and we were able to watch the launch of Perseverance in class…and they loved it! It was very cool for the students to see something we were learning in class happen in real life.

BW: At the end of the day, what do you hope your students take from your class?

CH: By the end of the year, I hope my students leave my class knowing how important it is to be a good friend to someone, and that there will always be friends to support them. And to know that if you really want to achieve something, hard work will always pay off. I also want to make sure they leave with the knowledge and curiosity to spark them to become lifelong learners.

BW: 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?

CH: I think what contributes to that sense of “family” is that everyone is so kind. That we all share a common goal to support one another, to support our students, and to support their families. That we are able to do this whether you are down the street or on the other side of the world.

BW: What advice would you give to families who are considering choosing Bridgeway as their homeschool partner?

CH: I would say that our Live Online Teachers are some of the most caring, supportive people I know. They all want the best for their students and would go the extra mile to make sure that your student is supported in achieving their academic goals.

Many thanks to Colin for taking time out of his 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 live classes (like the ones Colin teaches!), 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.