If you’re of a particular age, then Saturday morning cartoons were a thing. One of the most famous cartoons was based on ensuring children learned some critical themes surrounding grammar, civics, and science, entitled “School House Rock!”
While the popular cartoon is a thing of the past, at its peak, it was innovative programming that offered a new perspective and approach to childhood education. Since then, educators have been developing new ways to level up the learning path, and Jade Weatherington has made her mark in that space.
Weatherington entered the education field as an after-school paraprofessional. And as she navigated her way through the Minneapolis Public School system ranks, Weatherington found that her income just wasn’t enough to support the lifestyle she wanted. She then started working as a tutor for a startup educational company.
“I needed some extra money cause working in school wasn’t really paying the bills. So, it started as a side hustle, just me teaching and tutoring online,” Weatherington explained.
As adulting would have it, Weatherington eventually relocated to Georgia, and enrolling her daughter in school sparked the identification of a need.
“It was her first time going to school, and she was having problems in school – not like problems with behavior, but it was academic. She was excelling, and her teacher didn’t really know how to challenge her. So at one point, she just asked to be homeschooled, and it blew my mind because homeschooling was not on my radar. It’s nothing we’d ever discussed. It wasn’t anything that I ever thought about doing,” Weatherington said.
When Weatherington’s daughter initially proposed the idea, she was given a resounding “no.” Weatherington didn’t think she had the time to homeschool her child. However, her daughter challenged her and asked, “Don’t you already teach school online?”
The challenge was Weatherington’s “ah-ha” moment. Working several jobs, Weatherington quit them all and took on home-schooling her daughter while only keeping 13 of her adulting learning students. Weatherington and her daughter traveled the world during this time, taking homeschooling to another level.
As Weatherington and her daughter traveled the world, she expanded her student base to 20 students. From there, she made more money than she had made with all her previous jobs combined.
“Basically, my business started cause people kept asking me questions, and I was like, ‘Okay. Well, y’all can’t keep on asking me stuff, and I’m not getting paid to answer these questions,’” Weatherington explained.
It’s no secret that the American cost of living is expensive. This reality hit home once Weatherington and her daughter arrived back in the States. While her business had grown, it was not at the point to sustain her for the long term.
“I went online and looked for online opportunities, like online teaching opportunities. I found VIP Kid, and so, I started teaching there. I still had my adult students and my homeschool families, and I started feeling overwhelmed, like, ‘Wow, I’m back to where I started. I quit all the jobs, and now I’m back,’” Weatherington pointed out.
While trying to figure out what’s next, Weatherington found inspiration from a Facebook group and learned about a platform called Out School, a marketplace for educators. She launched a writing program on the site, which quickly became popular. However, she soon found she could not manage classes on this platform and run her online-teaching business.
Weatherington decided to shut down her original school model and go all in with her writing academy, which was when Teacher Jade’s Writing Academy was born.
The popularity of her writing courses was so strong that other educators reached out and wanted to know how to duplicate her work, which prompted the new angle of her business. Weatherington retired from teaching traditional education online, and now uses her business to offer classes to adults who want to learn how to teach courses online.
Since the transition of her business model, Weatherington has earned about $10,000 per month from her online platform.
“I have teachers that work for me, but the $10,000 a month is because my most popular class is mastering the five-paragraph essay. It is for four weeks, one day a week, and a 40-minute class, and it’s $79, and the maximum number of students that can enroll is 15,” Weatherington explained. “For each one of those classes I taught, I was making $800. I was teaching that class 10, 15 times a week.”
Even though Weatherington has retired from teaching in a more traditional virtual sense, she has started a program for adults that has increased her earning potential beyond the $10,000 mark. Education and entrepreneur are the drivers that keep her going.
“I have enough teachers in place where I don’t have to teach any classes. I don’t have to work. And then, I started this course for adults. I’m like, ‘Oh, so much for not working. You’re supposed to retire.’ But I also realized, now that I’m in this space of like being an entrepreneur, I don’t wanna stop,” Weatherington said.