Heather Ferguson: Making a Difference in Education

Heather Teaches at CAVA

California Virtual Academies gave teacher Heather Ferguson a better way to make the powerful difference that she longed for during her years teaching in the traditional public school system, she said in a new video.

“I feel like with CAVA, kids can tap into their strengths. In the classroom, they didn’t have that opportunity,” said Heather. She noted that the K12 curriculum provides students with excellent tools that support their problem solving skills and allows them to work at their own pace.

Before she started with CAVA in 2014, Heather taught mathematics at a bricks and mortar school in Arizona and was the state representative for the National Education Association. Her passion for making a positive change in education and how classrooms were run was met with cynicism and inaction.

“A lot of…teachers like to complain without proposing solutions,” said Heather. Discouraged, she moved to Ecuador to teach in a different setting. When she returned to the U.S., and after the birth of her second child, Heather was anxious to start teaching again.

“I felt like I was missing something,” she said.

Heather sought guidance from her mother, who suggested she look into CAVA after learning about a co-worker who had experienced substantial success with an autistic child enrolled at the virtual academies.

The advice proved fruitful. Heather, who teaches fourth and fifth grade math, said that CAVA, coupled with the technologically advanced curriculum powered by K12, allows her to work with students one-on-one and build deep, strong relationships with parents.

“I really love working with the parents, because I feel that I give them that extra support that they wouldn’t normally get,” she said. “I think it’s super important to be involved with their kids’ learning, so that I’m not just teaching the kids, I’m also teaching the parents,” she said.  “We are there to walk them through it.”

Heather connects with families daily via email and phone. She also holds in-person meetings on a quarterly basis.

For Heather’s students, such personalized attention can be transformative. For instance, she recently had a fifth-grade student who joined her class performing math at a kindergarten level.

“He didn’t have a fighting chance in late September,” she said. “The kid could not add or subtract without his fingers.”  After intensely working with the student one-on-one, including in-person tutoring, the student is now finally able to do his multiplication, division, addition and subtraction tables confidently.

“I wouldn’t give up,” on him, Heather said. “I wouldn’t let it go.” Heather Ferguson; a spectacular teacher and reason why California parents demand the right to make their own school choices for their children.

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