Heidi Edwards, the newly appointed President of Teacher’s Partner, shares in a candid interview her views and thoughts about her role in the company and the impact she hopes to make in the field of education technology.
Below is our recent interview with Heidi Edwards, President of Teacher’s Partner:
Q: What does it feel like to be a woman in such a high role executive position? What separates you from the pack of other education company presidents?
A: The feelings are mixed between elation and supreme pressure to perform at my best and deliver the dream that was placed inside of me during graduate school. I see the position as an extension of who I am as a passionate educator and advocate of childrens’ and teachers’ rights within the field of Special Education. I have the opportunity to give voice to what I believe has become the fight of the century, the right for every exceptional child to learn irregardless of demographics and economic status. I get to lead a company that believes in the inherent rights of children and the educators called to affect change in childrens’ lives. What separates me from the rest is that my role does not rest in a title or a position of power for its namesake. The role and title is a call to action, a response is demanded from me to fill the role in the manner of service to children and educators nationally and worldwide.
Q: Why did you accept the role of President offered by founder and CEO, Adam Hamid?
A: While I was studying to earn my masters in education, with a concentration in Special Education, I read countless of peered reviewed articles explaining the complexity of families receiving the services that their children need in a public education setting. As a student, I had to do research and a wealth of reading to understand the process from the initial stages to execution of an IEP or a 504 plan. In the course of the research and study, I noticed that even as a student, the information and steps of receiving the utmost care for children is daunting. The wealth of information is there, but it takes time, effort, and energy to understand the verbage used communicate what is entitled to exceptional students and their families. After realizing the amount of time and dedication it takes to sift through mountains of information, I saw the need for families to have someone to help navigate them through the process and to help ensure that their children receive the services that they need.
Additionally, I had a vision post graduation to expand the usage of technology in the classroom. Before and during my graduate studies in special education, I had the opportunity to teach ESL online with companies from abroad. My students mostly came from China. I imagined the possibilities of taking this concept and applying it to other Southeast Asian countries, namely Indonesia. I saw the opportunity to use the platform to expand the way technology is used to include more countries and to implement such teaching styles into the classroom.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your role as President of Teacher’s Partner?
A: I hope to bridge the gap between the haves and have nots on a national and global scale. On a national scale, I want teachers to have a way to have their work in the classroom honored and for them to receive the monetary rewards that they deserve for their work. I also truly want teachers to see the company as a means to build community and advocacy. I desire for teachers to utilize it as a resource to supply the needs of their classrooms for the benefit of all their students. I also hope to create ways for children and teachers abroad to have ready access to information and resources that are hard to find in their geographic area. Lastly, I want to promote a cross cultural global dialogue of educators where East meets West. The energy and synergy created on Teacher’s Partner has the potential to truly change the face of education for the better.
Q: What led you to Teacher’s Partner?
A: The journey began with the decision to literally leave the classroom. I saw how I, as well as other teachers, struggled to keep the pace of teaching, grading, lesson planning, and other administrative work while trying to live their lives outside of the classroom. The task in a nutshell is insurmountable. While being in the classroom, I became burnt out and overwhelmed at the challenges that came along with teaching. Unfortunately, I saw the struggle in other teachers and felt that I had to do something! Being in the classroom feeling perpetually drained in addition to not enjoying the financial fruit of their overwhelming labor is not the desired life of an educator. Additionally, the time, effort, and work put into teaching did not equate at all to the amount given biweekly or even monthly. In my departure from the classroom, I sought entrepreneur opportunities through teaching online as well as venturing into financial advising. In my quest, I saw the need to create my own website that show cased my various skills and services that I could offer to teachers. In the search to promote the website, I came across, Translucent Portals Inc. founded and created by, Adam S. Hamid. I wanted to promote the company’s services on my website for I saw the company’s passion to care for teachers. I loved how the company wanted to use technology to help teachers in a myriad of ways. Connecting the gifts of teachers to an online platform excited me for the possibilities for collaboration and innovation were endless. So, when CEO and Founder, Adam Hamid, asked me to come aboard, it was a no brainer, I joyfully said yes! It has been a journey like no other ever since.