High-quality charter schools can be exceptional places — not just for students, but also for teachers.

In charter public schools, school teachers, administrators, and board members shape important decisions about working conditions, including the mission, curriculum and instruction, programs and services, schedules, budgeting, and staffing – with the goal of improving educational outcomes for students.

Many of Idaho’s charter schools have been started by teachers.

For example, North Idaho STEM Charter Academy in Rathdrum was founded by two teachers. “We started being approached by parents, parents interested in choice for their students,” Colleen Thomson, a teacher and founder of the school said. “The school that we’re envisioning would give students a different way to learn than what we’re doing presently.” The school is project – and inquiry – based. “Our mission is to prepare these kids to be successful citizens in a technological age,” Colleen said.

Anser Charter School, the only public school located in Garden City, is another example. Here’s Suzanne Gregg, a teacher and founder of the school, talking about starting the school.

One of the most recent charter schools to open in Idaho is Alturas International Academy in Idaho Falls. Michelle Ball, a teacher with more than thirty years of classroom experience. In Alturas’ multi-age classrooms, you will not see students sitting in rows listening to hours of teacher instruction. You will not see worksheets which are meant solely to test students on a teachers lecture. You will see engaged students who learn to love knowledge and discovery.

What is it like to teach at a charter school?