We had the good fortune of connecting with Teresa Agapiou-Young and Ami Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Teresa and Ami, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
We both were born to teach; but, we both had a huge desire and love for learning! This enthusiasm needed to be spread! We wanted to be able to make learning fun for all learners, both young students, and adult students, so we collaborated together to research up-to-date pedagogy to develop a curriculum that is engaging, enriching, and rigorous all at once. We notice and recognize that Teachers always go the extra mile and want the very best for their students, and we are here to support them as servant leaders. There are only 24 hours in a day, and Teachers are swamped with work which can take a toll on their mental health. So ultimately, our thought process behind starting our business was to be able to help our educators because their role is foundational in our learners. We are here for them by providing purposeful professional development to our teachers to help them with planning lessons, differentiating their instruction, classroom management, instructional technology, supporting and understanding mental health, data analysis, student interventions, student test-preps, and more!!!!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We are set apart from others because we will customize your action plan. Some campuses need professional, development that starts from the teachers, others need direct support with their students, whatever the need, we will always personalize your plan. Customization is something we are proud of because, although there are trends in data when it comes to learning (International trends, National trends, State trends, etc), our instruction is differentiated based on classroom data and observation. We want to meet the needs of every student and teacher. It can be challenging, but we have learned that having systems in place is critical, so we follow our systems and framework for research in order to overcome these challenges. We want the world to know, that we are here to develop internationally sound students and will do this by enriching their strengths and nourishing their weaknesses.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If our best friend was visiting the Houston area, I would take them to the museum district first. I believe we have so many beautiful exhibits and would enjoy spending time at each of them together. I would definitely take them to our favorite restaurant, El Meson in the Rice Village area. We would bike ride at our beautiful parks, like Herman, Memorial, and even Jessy Jones park, maybe even through the Buffalo Bayou bike trails to see all of the Houston Street Art. If there are any sports games happening, we would also go to see the Dynamos, Rockets, Texans, or the Astros. We would have a great time! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We want to thank all of our students and colleagues who taught us how to be the best educators we can be, and believed in us every step of the way! They are the reason why we do this! Furthermore, we want to thank our families, from grandparents, parents, siblings, husbands, and our own children for always encouraging us and understanding that our time that we spend on supporting education is ultimately a sacrifice when we are away from them! There have been nights and weekends where we worked relentlessly to generate our curriculum and activities, but they always support us through thick and thin. We are also extremely thankful to the many Districts that have believed in us to support their campuses.
Teresa Agapiou-Young and Ami Rodriguez