Former Dallas ISD teacher Andrea Bazemore will not be teaching in a normal classroom this year.
“For someone who’s like me, who’s immune-compromised, I don’t feel safe going into an environment that I have no control over,” Bazemore said.
Bazemore said she tested positive for COVID-19 in July. It changed her perspective.
"I need to take charge of my own health. I don’t know how long this is going to last," Bazemore said. "But if I can control something, then I have more power. My health is my wealth.”
For the upcoming school year, the Frisco resident decided to teach through small, in-person learning pods, as well as a virtual school.
“You have some sort of control over yourself, your health, and your body, as well as the environment that you’re around,” Bazemore said.
This school year, Bazemore is teaching four students at a to-be-determined outdoor location in Frisco.
She’s also hosting a virtual school, which will have students from across the country and from other countries. Some of the lessons will be pre-recorded and others will be live.
Bazemore hasn’t forgotten about her former students from the classroom. She’ll be teaching five of them – for free – at a friend’s dance studio in Arlington.
“I saw that there’s just so much inequality with the pods,” Bazemore said. “Getting to choose your exact teacher. Getting to have those small groups. So I want my students to be able to have that same privilege as well.”
The reason behind Bazemore’s decision to do in-person pods and virtual school is not just because of her health and safety. She’s trying to make sure COVID-19 doesn’t take education away from anyone.
“It just makes a lot of sense financially and emotionally, mentally,” Bazemore said. “I feel a lot more clarity in doing this.”