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The Tiger's Eye

From the home school: Needham reflects on the high school experience


Many teachers were once inspired by a teacher they had when they were in school. Lydia Needham, however, found inspiration elsewhere. In fact, Needham did not have a traditional schooling background.
“I was homeschooled all the way through high school,” Needham, who has been teaching Spanish at FHS for two years, said. “I graduated high school when I was 17. Public school wasn’t necessarily the main plan of action when I first started teacher’s college, but it was the best opportunity at the time.”
Needham attended and graduated from the University of Lincoln Nebraska from 2018 through 2021. Before she settled on teaching, she knew she wanted to do something with the Spanish language.
“At first, I considered becoming a translator, but I knew I needed to fully acquire the language for myself first,” Needham said. “I attended a co-op for homeschoolers where we were taught different subjects by certified teachers throughout high school. This is how I had the opportunity to learn Spanish. I only took Spanish for 2 years in high school.”
Reflecting on her experience with homeschool and as a public school teacher, Needham has insight to the advantages and disadvantages to every school system, home school or public school.
“I think there are always disadvantages to any education system because certain systems always provide different opportunities that others cannot,” Needham said. “I think the main disadvantage I faced being homeschooled had more to do with where I lived than me being homeschooled.
Needham grew up in Cook, Neb., a town with a population of only 325.
“There were not many opportunities to participate in sports or get to know many different people,” Needham said.
On the flipside, though public schools offer more opportunities than homeschooling, Needham believes there are disadvantages of social experiences in the public school system.
“I think that the disadvantages can depend on your point of view,” Needham said. “I think that students who are in public school are exposed to more experiences (some good some bad) earlier in life than I experienced.”
Needham followed up by saying that parents have to be very organized to homeschool their own children and that kids should be able to choose what school system they want to attend.
“Parents who chose to homeschool need to be organized and prioritize their child’s education above most things as they are filling the role of not just a parent, but a principal, teacher and counselor as well,” Needham said. “I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to decide the course of action for the betterment of each student.”
Though Needham did not attend high school, she enjoys the experience through the lense of a teacher.
“I really enjoy getting to work with all of my students and getting to watch them succeed and overcome difficulties both in and out of class,” Needham said.

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Izzy Tedrow, Staff Writer
Izzy Tedrow is a sophomore and this is her second year as a staff writer for Tiger’s Eye Media. Izzy plays softball and sings in JV Choir. She enjoys playing sports, hanging with friends, listening to music and writing. 

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