Teaching in a New Reality: Joel Brigham, Olympia High School (IL)

By Spenser Stevens | April 14 2020 | General

“As a high school English teacher and the father two elementary-aged daughters, the biggest challenge for me right now is trying to keep up with students while simultaneously trying to keep up with my own children. The days are stressful, but my wife (also a teacher) and I do a good job alternating between homeschooling our kids and our jobs as educators. It’s smooth as it can be considering the circumstances, but no parent/educator should ever feel guilty about putting their own children first. I also would suggest giving yourself an “end of the day.” When 2:00 or 3:00 rolls around, stop responding to student and parent emails and give yourself time to decompress. Your students and their parents will be fine until the morning!”


Joel Brigham has taught English at Olympia High School in rural Central Illinois for 16 years, focusing primarily on American Literature, Creative Writing, Yearbook, Speech, and Modern Media. He has his master’s degree in Teaching and Learning from Illinois State University and is a member of both his district and school leadership teams. Joel also has an extensive writing resume, including covering the NBA as a senior writer for Basketball Insiders for 12 years, writing SEO blogs for scores of small businesses, and completing three contemporary YA novels (and counting!).