It is a second career for Barbara Bidell, Director of Education and teacher at New Horizons Academy operating under the offices of the non-profit New Horizons Center for Learning. Her first career was in broadcasting and how she made the transition to a new field was when she was “working part-time for the Screen Actors Guild Foundation for a program called Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools. I started out as a volunteer and was working with at-risk students.” She discovered she enjoyed working with students much more than the field of broadcasting. That motivated her to pursue a degree in elementary education and special education.
Bidell received her bachelor’s in broadcast journalism from Valparaiso University and pursued her master’s degree in education through the University of Phoenix and educational leadership from Western International University.
“I am a generalist in education which means my skills run the gamut. As a teacher, I have taught everything from special education and English in high school and this year I taught geometry, U.S. history, U.S. government and world history. I will continue to teach subjects in history as well as fulfill my administrative duties.”
As for continuing to teach, Bidell explained that getting a degree “is fantastic. It is a matter of making sure that you can transfer that theory into more practical means. Experience really helps a lot. I like to keep teaching in the classroom environment so I know how the classroom is changing.”
According to Bidell, many administrators will forget what it is like to be in a classroom teaching. “It is very easy to do when you are wrapped up in administrative work,” she said. “I think it is really helpful for me to continue to be in a classroom, see how the demands are changing, how learning levels have changed, the different modalities and how we are reaching out to all learners.” Bidell believes classrooms have changed dramatically from just 10 years ago. Still, she encourages others “to consider education as a career. We need good, dedicated teachers and I feel I make an impact every day.”
Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (34 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.