Visit for parenting workshops, parent coaching & children's activities!
May 1, 2023

Episode 97: "School Daze: How to Decide if Your Child's Current Education is a Snooze Fest or a Screaming Success" with Evelyn Shaw Corley

In this podcast episode, DJ invited mastermind of education Evelyn Shaw Corley on the show to discuss the types of education available for our children and to help you better understand what questions you should be asking. Listen in to hear them break down the instruction and development options we have - public, private, charter, home school or a combination of - and how each child has different abilities and challenges that may or may not be a good fit for the traditional classroom.

Evelyn Shaw Corley is a visionary leader in the world of international education. She is an advocate for diversity, mental health, and equity in education. As a School Leader, blogger, international speaker, and published author, Evelyn is Meta's recipient of the 2022 Changemaker Award. Currently, she serves as Founder and CEO for Thrive International Academy.

• [20:07] DJ & Evelyn discuss summer being the perfect time to find out if homeschooling is something you can do.
• [32:04] Evelyn explains what parents need to look for before they make a decision on a program for their child.
• [34:02] “I am not a fan of on demand, tutoring and on demand homeschooling, I am a fan of that personal touch of doing meet and greets where we can make sure that personalities, mesh and that that relationship can be nourished.”
• [40:11] “Teachers are hanging on for dear life right now.”

For more information on the Imperfect Heroes podcast, visit:

Connect with Us!
DJ Stutz -
DJ Stutz Booking Link:


Evelyn Shaw Corley

Link to the Ted Talk by Rita Pearson that was mentioned in the episode.


DJ Stutz  0:00  
We think you should know that Imperfect Heroes podcast is a production of Little Hearts Academy USA. 

You're listening to Episode 97 of Imperfect Heroes, Insights Into Parenting, the perfect podcast for imperfect parents looking to find joy in their experience of raising children in an imperfect world. And I'm your host, DJ Stutz. And today, we'll be talking about a topic that is near and dear to every parent's heart. How to decide if your child's current school experience is the right one for them. Let's start with the simple truth. There's no one size fits all solution when it comes to education. Every child is unique and their needs and preferences may vary from year to year. So if you're feeling overwhelmed by the options available, public school, private school, charter school, or homeschool, don't worry, you're not alone. And in this episode, I am talking with the one the only Evelyn Shaw Corley, and she's the founder of Thrive International Academy. She's a mastermind of education, innovation, and expert in all things awesome. So let me tell you, this woman is a force to be reckoned with. And she's not afraid to push the boundaries of what's possible in education. And she's got the brains and the charisma to make it happen. So whether she's speaking at a conference or mentoring young leaders, Evelyn is always bringing her a game. So if you're looking for a trailblazer in the world of education, look no further than Evelyn shock orally. And if you're lucky enough to meet her in person, just try to keep up because this woman is always on the move. There's so much to learn. So let's get started.

There are so many choices when it comes to your child's education, and there is no one right answer. Kids have different abilities and challenges that may or may not be a good fit for the traditional classroom. And as kids grow and mature on their own schedules, what was right this year may not be right next year. And what was right for kiddo number one may not be right for kiddo number two, and it can all be so confusing. And we are so lucky to have Evelyn Shaw Corley to help us better understand what questions we should be asking, and what are the options that are available? listen in and you're gonna see what I mean. 

Hey, everyone, I want to thank you all for joining us and choosing to spend this time with Imperfect Heroes podcast. And I have such a great guest today. And it's on a topic that is so near and dear to my heart. Of course anything to do with kids is pretty much near and dear to my heart. But this is Evelyn Shaw Corley and Evelyn, you just have so many answers and so many options for us as parents, grandparents, even teachers, why don't you tell us a little bit about your company and then what you do.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  3:21  
Oh, thank you so much for having me DJ, I super, super appreciate this. So hey, everybody, my name is Evelyn Shaw Corley. It is an absolute delight and pleasure to meet you. I am the founder and CEO of Thrive International Academy, which serves in three ways. We homeschool, we tutor and we mentor. And in the homeschooling Avenue, we serve you either ala carte, meaning if you just need that math, take away the math tears and come to thrive. If you just need some reading support, you do not have to come to us for everything. So we do homeschooling ala carte or homeschooling full service if you don't want to stress about those transcripts. Or you don't you want to be mom and you don't necessarily want to be teacher that is something else. And then the second thing we do is we tutor so for students who are in public schools, private schools, unschooling, whatever kind of schooling you're doing, we tutor and we serve through grace and support and laughter. And then the third thing we do that is so important to me is mentoring, and the famous Rita Pearson teacher for 40 years who has this beautiful beautiful TED Talk explains that every child needs a champion and unwavering adult who never gives up on them and I believing that as well,

DJ Stutz  5:01  
you know, I totally believe in that as well, too. In fact, I had that on a plaque in my classroom when I was teaching. And especially I think, especially those kids that for some people, not for me, for some people are hard to love hard to connect with, they need that more than anyone else. They were my favorite kids. I know. And then, you know, like, our without outbursts, this is fantastic. Like, you can so many successes. Yeah, it's great. But beyond that, though, I really love that you offering all of these options. And so we've talked a little bit before, in a couple of conversations about the importance of, you know, it's not just this one answer. So you don't have to be all into public school, or charter school, private school, or homeschooling, oh, I'm homeschooling, I can't do anything else. There are so many options that are out there that will fit and work for your family and for your child. And in fact, I think that you might have one child that this this option is working great, or this combination of options is working great. And then you've got another child, and that setup isn't working for them. You might need to restructure things, rethink things, look at different things. Because for that kid, this is the option, or options that are really going to work better, don't you agree?

Evelyn Shaw Corley  6:35  
I do. And I just want to emphasize that we are all human beings with intricacies, emotions, feelings, social needs, all of it. And schooling doesn't have to fit in a box any more. We are evolving so much from what was done for years and years and years, which essentially had to do with sending students into factory working positions. I mean, quite frankly, just gearing up for the workforce. And now and in my generation, I was born in 82. And my generation, we were told, graduate from high school, get a four year diploma and everything is going to be fine. And come to find out. It wasn't necessarily fine. And I don't necessarily use all of my diplomas and certifications every day in the land of entrepreneurship. Because it's a different world. It's a different place. And I think we need to keep these things in mind with our kiddos, tweens and teens. And that schooling does not need to look the same. And your passions are your purpose. And you can make money with what comes naturally to you, which is something that I think that we didn't so much look at in the 80s and the 90s. We just thought you get this job, you work for 30 or 40 years, and you weren't necessarily happy. And so that's really something that I want to bring to light.

DJ Stutz  8:12  
Right. And in fact, I think so the Dirty Jobs guy micro, he's got this organization, a nonprofit, I don't know exactly what it is, but they actually give out grants to kids who don't want to take that four year college plan, but maybe they want to be a welder or a car mechanic or a plumber or whatever that's out there. And what I love about it is they have to show that they are hardworking, they're involved in their community, there's a whole thing that they have to go through to be able to qualify for that. But it's true that what kids really love to do may not be what that four year. Exactly, yeah, exactly. And that starts even at a very young age, where I have this I have a preschooler, primary grade child, and they are crazy into dinosaurs. So I use dinosaurs as like my counters, can get little toy dinosaurs and Okay, give me 10 dinosaurs or even 10 Brontosaurus, or 10 raptors. And then you can do sorting that science. And you can say, well, let's put all the pterodactyls in one pile and all of this are all the blue dinosaurs and all of the green dinosaurs and there will be more engaged because they love dinosaurs, right.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  9:41  
Love Language.

DJ Stutz  9:43  
Oh my gosh, girls and boys. I had girls like they've got the most adorable little dinosaur girl dresses and stuff and they come in. Yes, so cute. So cute. But I think that starting young and letting our kids know, you want to learn about that. Let's go on about that.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  10:01  
Let's do it. So there is this story that I read many years ago, but it really stayed with me. And it's a story of a kindergartener who was so excited to draw. And the teacher said, let's draw flowers. And the kid said, Oh, green, blue, purple, all of the things. And the teacher said, no, no, no, we're going to draw a flower that looks like this. One stem, three petals, two leaves. And when that child went into first grade, and had this free flow, drawing opportunity, the child instead of beaming with excitement and creativity through exactly what the child learned in kindergarten, and we do not want to do that to our kids. We do not want our kids to dislike learning, and we do not want our kids to lose that magic of creativity. I think that's so important.

DJ Stutz  11:01  
Yeah. In fact, I just had a podcast. Gosh, this was back in February. His name's Michael Muggeridge, and he is a neurodiverse. Adult. But he was a neurodiverse. Child. And he grew up in Austria. There you are, well, yeah. And how he struggled so hard. And what that meant for him as a child, it was really refreshing, because kids can't really tell you what they're going through when they're 567 years old. And they're neurodiverse. Right? To have an adult, look back and say, Wow, this was hard. And the biggest part of it for him, was trying to fit into a system that the teacher or the school or whatever had set up. And so it's kind of like your flower store, you had to do this exactly right. Where he had a very creative mind. But that was squashed down. It wasn't until then he was an adult that he went back to being an artist and loving things and, and looking at things in that way. I think it's so important that whether we're the parent, or the teacher, or tutor or whatever, is to use that creativity in their learning, they're gonna hold on to it so much more.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  12:12  
And remember it forever and ever. I love that so much. It's super, super important. And so to take your passions, hobbies and interests, and turn it into something meaningful, whether it's math, science, social studies, language, stem, whatever the case may be, to really, really hone in on what makes you uniquely special and wonderful. I think that's so important.

DJ Stutz  12:37  
Yeah, I agree. I agree. What are the ages then that you work with within your company.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  12:43  
So we serve K 12, but sometimes a little before kindergarten, and sometimes a little bit after 12th grade, it happens, and you tutor all the way through those first four years of college. But for the Academy for the homeschooling Academy, its cage evolve, and it's all subject areas. And having a mentor is mandatory in my homeschooling Academy, even if you're only coming to us for reading, we have that mindful adult checking in with you for 30 minutes a week, just a little check in. And if something's going on, we let the family know because it's so important to have that healthy social health, mental health, emotional health.

DJ Stutz  13:32  
Yeah. And someone I think, too, that gets what is developmentally appropriate, whether it's by age or developmental abilities, and then what next steps are, one of the things that I really talk about a lot is the fact that people get really caught up in well, they're supposed to be reading at this age. Oh, they're supposed to be doing calculus by now, let's say that your kid is developmentally delayed, but And here's another thing, too, is with reading, it's a matter of certain synapses firing off in your head, right? To make that connection to reading. And that can happen anywhere from in extreme cases, three, but four is considered early to eight. Those synapses may not fire off until they're eight years old. And so if they're supposed to be reading, you know, have their 100 words and all of this and, you know, know all of these

Evelyn Shaw Corley  14:31  
all of your phonics, phonics, yeah, all of your Yeah, the end

DJ Stutz  14:35  
of kindergarten, but their synapses haven't been fired off. All of a sudden, they're labeled, and they're on a reading plan, and they're pulled out of class. All the other kids see them walking out of class, they know that they're going and the kids feel like yeah, I gotta go to dummy reading and I mean, I've had kids say that to me.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  14:54  
amatic. Nice to meet you in the public schools and It's so interesting because you can be twice exceptional, you can have an area where you are super, super gifted and an area where it is a struggle for you. I'm an example of a twice exceptional human, my linguistic ability is strong and powerful, and I'm so appreciative of that. And then my mathematical ability, I would be considered, you know, having a learning disability with math. And that's okay. Because I am able to compensate. Technology is there I can do what I need to do to survive. And I have been able to find careers and pathways that allow me to be successful. So I don't believe that every student needs to take X y&z for math, I don't believe that every student necessarily needs to read at a collegiate level, I think there are so many pathways to success that have to do with your goals after high school. And like you were saying, DJ, it's really important to not push it with reading and with math and to know that that developmental capability will happen. And you will reach your highest potential when the time is right. And that is so important to take into account. And to not feel like something is wrong, necessarily,

DJ Stutz  16:26  
right. And so it's important to say, Oh, you're here, I don't care if you're four or seven, this is where you are, what's the next step. Because if we keep trying to push them way up to a first grade level, when they're still firing off at a kindergarten level, they miss all those steps in between. And so they need to be able to hold on to the knowledge and that that added knowledge is based on all of these steps that are in between. And so if they take a leap, and they don't have the foundation of those bricks that are holding everything together at the bottom, that is going to tumble down like it was built on sand, right?

Evelyn Shaw Corley  17:07  
Oh, yeah. And we have pandemic kiddos, we have a seven year old in my academy, who started school for the first time. This is how we open a book we read from left to right. These are the things that we do. This is how we interact with the teacher. This is how we, you know all of the things because our kiddos not only experienced trauma, emotionally, they also experienced academic trauma. And you may have seen on the news that the Nation's Report Card for reading and math scores are lower than they have been in years and years. And that's because they're missing these foundational pieces. And through homeschooling or tutoring, you can fill in those gaps because we have students who are in seventh grade, and it's like nothing happened. And they're expected to be in seventh grade, but they're still thinking like a fifth grader. And we have to be mindful of filling in those gaps and not expecting everybody to be fine. And that that is an unrealistic expectation, in my opinion.

DJ Stutz  18:16  
Right. And there are so many schools that they say they support individualized learning, but when it comes down to it, I know of first grades that have more than 30 kids and one teacher and no aid. And so how are you going to individualize for each one of those kids? Realistically? Right? Right?

Evelyn Shaw Corley  18:39  
You can put it in your hands all day long. But it's not happening with fidelity, because it's impossible. It's absolutely impossible.

DJ Stutz  18:50  
Right. And it's easy to get mad at the teacher, which is men talk about stressful. So you've got people from up high pushing, gotta get this done, meet this goal, meet this goal. And then you've got parents who are saying my kid hates school and they're unhappy, or my kid isn't getting the support that they need. And most of the time, it doesn't mean that the teachers and train, it means that he or she is just overwhelmed. And especially now with coming back from the pandemic. So many kids are at so many different levels. And so you're really trying hard to meet them where they are. And it can be difficult. Some teachers are super talented at this. They are amazing, right? But other teachers are more linear and thinking. And so it's a struggle for them. It doesn't mean that they don't care doesn't even mean that they're a bad teacher. It just means like everyone else, they process information differently in their own way. So that's a big thing. And so I think having programs like yours, where you can get a mentor, you can even just get someone to come in and say, Tell me where my child is on math. or on science or whatever. Tell me where they actually are. Forget grade levels, forget all of that.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  20:07  

DJ Stutz  20:08  
Yeah. And I think that is such a great and important tool for parents to be able to have,

Evelyn Shaw Corley  20:14  
I think so too. And then we take an opportunity that's coming up, which is summer, and there's so much that you can do in the summer time to fill in those holes. And to fill in what I hate to even call a deficit. It's just something you haven't seen or experienced yet. And to do that, and one to one or small group setting is huge. It's so powerful, and that can change the trajectory of your life, literacy skills, and basic mathematical skills will change your life. And so that is why we do what we do at Thrive International Academy.

DJ Stutz  20:54  
Right. So we're airing this in May, and summers, right on the edge here, as you said, and I think this is me, I think that if you're thinking, Gosh, my kid isn't fitting in in school and things aren't working. Right. I wonder if homeschooling is something that we could work with or not? Is it going to be overwhelming? Is it going to be fun or miserable, that's a perfect time to find out is during summer break, and to try some of these homeschool ideas or platforms, and there's so much information that's out there. I know your company can help with that, too. And then you can see through the summer, oh, yeah, I can do this. Or yeah, I'm really love my teachers.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  21:43  
Sure. And you can see what works well for you. And I have friends who loves sending their kids to public school. And that is amazing. That is absolutely amazing. And then I have other friends whose kiddos might be bullied, or families who travel, I have a friend whose family has an RV and they travel across the United States. And all they need is Wi Fi. And they're getting that consistent learning. And one thing that the pandemic has shown us is that in tutoring, you need to have the same person it's all about relationships, on demand tutoring that a lot of the school district started with was very unsuccessful, because it didn't have to do with the foundation of relationships. And so we're in negotiations, hopefully by the time this airs, that will be it'll come to be but we're in negotiations with the school district to be their tutoring provider, same tutor, same group of students together for long periods of time. And I think that is the secret sauce is relationships.

DJ Stutz  22:51  
And you are exactly right. And so whether your mom or dad or even big sister or brother may participate, I'm the oldest of seven. So I'm all about that. Or even the teacher if you don't have that relationship with the child. So if they don't either walk into class and feel like, hey, Johnny's here, and Johnny can be a tough kid. But it doesn't matter. I miss you when you're gone, or class isn't the same. All of those things. And we may be seen in our head. It's actually calmer without error, but it's not the same.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  23:29  
thing all been there. We all we all. You're so right, you are so right. And kids, tweens and teens are highly sensitive beings. They feel us they are watching. And they know and they are responding and reacting to what energy we give out. And they are soaking it up. And so what do we want them to experience? What do we want them to remember? We want them to remember loving open arms. And it's important to and one thing that I talk about is sharing. If mom is having a bad day, it's okay. It's not you. I'm having a tough day. I love you. If I say something, and if it doesn't sound, whatever I just want you to know. And I would always share that with my students as well, so that they wouldn't know that it was something that they did. Hey, guys, I'm really tired today. Just so you know, I didn't sleep well. Last night. I need you to know. It's not you if I seem a little bit different today. I think that's really important.

DJ Stutz  24:40  
Yeah, I agree. I agree. And then once you've got that strong relationship with your kid, and they trust you, right now they're going to crave time with you. They want to be with you because you are their hero. And it doesn't mean that you're a dog or Matt, or pushover, you know, you still have strong values, you still have strong boundaries. You're just screaming at them about it. We don't do that. But what else can we do? And then put it back on the kid? What can we do? Yes,

Evelyn Shaw Corley  25:16  
we can do this. And they're both great choices.

DJ Stutz  25:22  
So be sure that what you're offering, you know, I know parents that will say, Oh, do you want to help me with dishes? Or do you want to clean the toilet or something? Like, they're just so? Yeah, but then they'll resent you for doing the dishes. They know you played a game on them. There were says Damn, it can be. Do you want to bring the dishes from the table? Or do you want to help me load the dishwasher

Evelyn Shaw Corley  25:54  

DJ Stutz  25:57  
both getting the job done, but they have a choice. And I think that's a big thing with our little guys is they want to be heard. And they want to be counted. And so it doesn't mean they get the Cocoa Puffs at the store. Amen. And oh, you're not gonna give me Cocoa Puffs. I'm gonna throw a tantrum here and embarrass you. Oh, you're a tantrum doesn't embarrass me, you're fine. I can see you need to cry. So you can cry here. We go out and cry in the car, but and not worry about people walking by. Because now I'm the old lady that's walking by. And I used to have when my kids were little. Go, they think I'm a terrible parent. They you know. And now I know what the old lady was saying. Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry. You're having a hard time. I wish I could help. You know, there have been times when I've Pat someone on the back and saying you're doing good mom or dad. And I had people do that to me. And so quit worrying about what other people are thinking. And let's just yeah, we're not getting a coke of us. And especially since you were crying and throwing a tantrum, we're definitely not getting the Cocoa Puffs, but maybe we'll put them on the list next time. Or maybe well, you're not into the sugar cereals are not too many of them, which is all healthy ideas. But so then say we have this other thing that's on the list. But if we you need to sit here cry that that's fine. We probably won't have time to go get all those things, though. Because I have a limited amount of time. And so you choose, I'm fine with either one. And then really be okay. With the choice that they take. So if they choose, I'm going to say I want to sit here and cry. Okay. Okay, let me know when you're done. I love you do want me to sit here? Do you want me to stand up? I'm fine. Still not getting Cocoa Puffs. But

Evelyn Shaw Corley  27:43  
that's right. That's right. But we can have our emotions and it's okay to have.

DJ Stutz  27:50  
Yes, yes, yes, yes. And maybe in some of the things that you do, like so you do start with sometimes kids that are pre K. So maybe they're showing signs that they're those synapses are firing off, and they're interested in reading. And so you want to give them those extra opportunities. And the nice thing about having a company like yours or a tutor or mentor working with that child is then that person does understand what the next step is.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  28:22  
There is no limit, there is absolutely no limit. And we will do passions based studies with our children here, just you know, like we were talking about dinosaurs earlier, if dinosaurs are your world, we can go down the rabbit hole of dinosaurs and dive into that it's so important. So we start with where you are, and with some of our pre K and K students, if they're ready to learn, let's go. And if we're working on emotional regulation, and picking out which color we identify with today, let's do that. If it's all about singing songs, let's do that. It is all about starting with where you are and having that comfort, because we don't want anybody to hate school that once once that happens, then you've got some roadblocks, then you've got some difficult things going on to overcome. But if you know that school is a safe space and a place for fun, and learning, which is fun. You're good to go. And so that is so much of what we offer

DJ Stutz  29:32  
my niece so I have seven D nieces and nephews. And some of them are not much younger than I am. Yeah, my some of my husband, he's the youngest of nine, so he became an uncle at three. Wow. Okay, yeah. And with me being that oldest of seven, I didn't become an auntie until I was 25. Sure, yeah. See, so are very different experiences. But so one of Russell's nieces, they are now living overseas in Thailand? I think yeah, it is. It's Thailand. But and so their son, who just is he's in his freshman year of college right now, but they did that online homeschooling. And so he was getting the cultures, both cultures, because his father is Thai and rnases not. And so he was getting all that cultural stuff. He was getting the better education. And, and now he's going to college and doing very well. And so it then you mentioned the family with the RV. Yes. And I know that there are a lot of families that will even do that. And so it does kind of open up a lot of freedom, you know, to you if you have that. So my brother, he's got five kids and their youngest, was having some learning difficulties learning issues. My sister in law spent a lot of time in the classroom. She's a go getter gal. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. If they were planning a party is put Christie in charge. And I'll show up because she does it right. Anyway, she was looking at, Geez, how can I help my son that I that. And so she decided we're gonna do homeschooling, now they have money. And so they were able to like for history, they were able to take a field trip from Oregon, to Gettysburg, or to Philadelphia. And so they had that kind of money to do so. But it's funny because he wound up going to a private school, once he got into junior high. And this is a high academic school. And he did very, very well. The relationship was there. Yes, he and his parents are so close and his siblings that this, they're just a really close family, the relationship was there, the opportunity, right, the support for mom. And then they got to add on this extra piece because there were finances available. We

Evelyn Shaw Corley  32:04  
love that. And one thing we've talked about before is that if the finances are not available, that's when we with nonprofits, that's when we partner with mental health facilities, that's when we make those partnerships, and we make it work. And we have a sliding scale, so that we can be there for everyone, it's so important to ensure that families of all backgrounds and all income levels have access to something this elite, because it can really take you leaps and bounds ahead of what was ever possible before one to one and small group attention. So we will definitely work with you. And I'm super excited just to be in this interview and sharing who we are and what we do. It really really means a lot to me.

DJ Stutz  32:56  
Oh, well. I had to until I met you is like she's got it. Let's do it. Like I said it was so much fun. We had our first conversation. You know, there are a lot of different opportunities for homeschool, home preschool, all that. But some of the programs are fantastic, and some are not. So what are some of the things that a parent might need to look at? Before they're making a decision on, you know, programs? What are some maybe red flags that they want to look out for? And then what are some of the positive things that they want to look for?

Evelyn Shaw Corley  33:34  
Definitely, I would say it's a red flag if they're not established in some, in some sense, if they've been around for a while and they have the reviews and they have the testimonials. I think that really speaks volumes. And if they're new, that's okay, too. You really want to make sure that your personalities jive. And I think having the personal touch is something else that really stands out. I am not a fan of on demand, tutoring and on demand homeschooling, I am a fan of that personal touch of doing meet and greets where we can make sure that personalities, mesh and that that relationship can be nourished and developed. So I would say if you're a number, and you don't feel like a human, I would caution you there. And I would say if it's completely new, or if it's just you know, again to be a little bit redundant, if it's very robotic, be concerned. But if you are nurtured and cared for, then you can really, really believe and trust in that program.

DJ Stutz  34:46  
I agree. I agree. One of the things I would look for too is philosophies. Program. So a lot of parents have a lot of strong opinions on what should and should not be taught. it and yes, school. And so I think you would want to talk to them enough to know whether this program that their philosophies align, and it doesn't matter what yours are, your philosophies are. But does that program really align with your philosophy?

Evelyn Shaw Corley  35:20  
Absolutely. And one thing that we do at Thrive is that we have a bubble chart, a bubble meet and greet. And it sounds so silly, but it really dives in deep to what are your beliefs? What do you want to see? What do you want us to accomplish this year? What are the no no's that are just non negotiables, this is not a part of me experience. And to be totally transparent, our nation is super, super divided right now. And we want to be respectful of all opinions and all beliefs. And I think that that is super important. And so to take the time to really get to know the family, and support them where they are, and respect why they are, who they are, and why they believe what they believe, is so important. And we have families on both ends of the political spectrum. And on both ends, and you name it. And the reason why we are able to serve so many families with Grace is because we are compassionate, we are understanding and we, we just come to you with open arms, honestly. And so I think that if this is something that you do not want covered in school, no problem, if it's an area of focus, that you really want us to dive in deep, no problem. And it's not to be appeasing. It's just who we are. Because we love humans, and we love all of the things that make us so fascinating and interesting and unique as individuals.

DJ Stutz  36:58  
Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I agree. And so those are some important questions, I think, to ask as you're interviewing, and as you're talking, and then if you perceive a problem with what your child is being taught, or an experience your child out or whatever, that there is a set plan or route for you to take, who do I talk to first? Who then if I don't get an answer, then what and to have that clearly laid out so that you don't feel like you're unheard, or that your concerns are not going to be taken seriously. But I really want to and you'll know this one, I really want to encourage parents to recognize that maybe it's your child. Like maybe your child maybe needs some more structure or less structure, whatever, but with all the bullying that's going on, but no one's kid is a bully. Right? You know? And so we got this guy's absolutely, I love what you do. And I would encourage our families to really kind of dive in to check you out and see if there are programs that fit your kiddos needs. So maybe if they do just need that little bit of help in math or they're struggling with science, or for me, science was the funnest class we had we made messes all over I had tarps all over we you know, we'd push the chairs aside and, and yeah, we're building. Oh, yeah, no, well, this is how my classroom ran. Not when I was growing up. But

Evelyn Shaw Corley  38:45  
oh, I want to be in your class. That's

DJ Stutz  38:51  
when we did exploding ornaments and Christmas and you Yeah, just all kinds of fun things. But so for me, if your kids struggling in science, you're just not making it fun enough. In my mind, science should be their favorite subject. But that's just me, obviously. Yeah, well, it's so hands on, you know, and it's like, hey, let's take these spaghetti things in tape. And you have to team up with a friend. So you've got to work together. And let's see, you can build the tallest tower that won't fall over.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  39:19  
Project adventure that no yeah.

DJ Stutz  39:23  
Yeah, yeah. So much. And that's something you can do at home with siblings, you know, just say, Oh, here's the spaghetti. Here's the masking tape and your tower has to hold this marshmallow on top. It has to be strong enough to hold the marshmallow or whatever, and then work and then you go do the dishes

Evelyn Shaw Corley  39:42  
are like toothpicks and marshmallows, building creations. So super fun,

DJ Stutz  39:48  
fun, so much fun, so much fun. Anyway, but whatever their subject is that they're struggling in, they can go and find help outside the reality I believe right now with that education today is that it's going to be up to the parents to make sure that the gaps are being filled, because the gaps are frequent, and they are wide. So

Evelyn Shaw Corley  40:11  
teachers are hanging on for dear life right now, God bless them, I stepped out of the classroom in 2019 pre pandemic, and it was so emotionally overwhelming. And it was an impossible job, even in 2019. And I started teaching in 2005, and the struggles of not being able to do everything when you want to do everything, like we touched on before the teachers mean, well, we're trying the very best that we can. But it is, as you were saying, the parents need to be very involved. Now, not all needs are being met in a traditional school day anymore.

DJ Stutz  40:54  
And it's not the parents versus the teachers know, it's teaming up, you know, and so my child needs extra help with bah, bah, bah, but the specialist is only coming once a week, that's not enough to really give them that added support. So you can ask your teacher, at least I was happy. And most of the teachers I worked with most, were happy to say, Okay, here's what you can do at home, these are next steps that will help Susie or Johnny fill the gap. Yeah, there are options, there are conversations that you can have with your teacher, so that it supports the team, rather than me versus you.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  41:33  
Oh, I totally agree. And then there's studies that show that intensive tutoring during the school day is actually the most effective three times a week during the school day, which you can incorporate the technology and the live components. And that is something that we do. And so it's not after hours, you're not in trouble, your school day doesn't need to be extended. So partnering with the teachers and partnering with the school systems is something that I think is a huge direction that we're going in. So I'm very, very excited to see these established and building relationships.

DJ Stutz  42:15  
Yeah, that's great. That is great. So tell our listeners, ways that they can get a hold of you and learn more.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  42:25  
Absolutely, please check us out at work with And I'm very active on social media. And I do personally answer all of my DMs, you can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn as Evelyn Shaw Corley, and on Instagram as Thrive International Academy. And it means so much to me for you to connect and just know that there is a place for you with thrive.

DJ Stutz  42:52  
And now we're going to have all of that information, as per usual in the show notes. And so you can go and scroll down. While you're scrolling down, though. I'd love for you to rate and review. Give us that five star rating. And yeah, and let me know what you think and what questions you have. And we'll certainly follow up with that. We love that. And then of course, tell a friend, you gotta listen to this, right? Yeah. So Evelyn, before we go, I always ask my guests the same question. And that is how would you describe a successful parent?

Evelyn Shaw Corley  43:30  
A successful parent is a parent who is imperfectly perfect and loving and so open and a parent that just says, guys, I love you limitlessly unconditionally, however you are come to me as you are. You are so loved. You are so beautiful. And a parent who is there in an unwavering way through the darkness and through the best of times.

DJ Stutz  43:59  
I love it. And you're so right on. You're so right on. So Evelyn, thank you so much for spending this time with us. I loved it.

Evelyn Shaw Corley  44:08  
Thank you for having me. You betcha.

DJ Stutz  44:11  
Bye, everyone. Be sure to check the show notes to find everyone's information. And I've included a link to the TED Talk by Rita Pearson that was mentioned in this episode, and then hit the Follow button to make sure you're getting in on the amazing episodes that we have each week. And if you liked what you heard in today's podcast, be sure to rate review and tell a friend and if you do this, I have a special gift for you. I am going to send you a digital copy of my living and kindness workbook and journal for free. And this workbook will help guide you through five areas of kindness and make that a part of your life and your family's traditions. So on the webpage of the podcast, www. You just go up to the top, click on reviews, and then you're gonna click on leave a review. It's that easy. Next week, our guest is Dr. Kate Lund. She's amazing. And we're talking about the effects of bullying on both the victim and the bully. It's going to be so interesting. Check it out and see and until next time, let's find joy in parenting!

Transcribed by

Evelyn Shaw CorleyProfile Photo

Evelyn Shaw Corley

Founder and CEO

International Education Leader, Author, Speaker, Meta’s 2022 Changemaker

Evelyn Shaw Corley is a visionary leader in the world of international education. She is an advocate for diversity, mental health, and equity in education. As a School Leader, blogger, international speaker, and published author, Evelyn is Meta's recipient of the 2022 Changemaker Award.

Currently, she serves as Founder and CEO for Thrive International Academy.

Evelyn has strong opinions about growing up, real feelings, embracing diversity, advocating for youth and mental health, and she also has a passion for music and the arts.

She is a believer that if what you wish to be does not exist, create it. Let us not complain; let us build our visions into reality.

Evelyn appreciates and embraces your thoughts and opinions and looks forward to connecting with you. She believes the world is our beautiful, magical home filled with glorious, varying feelings and perspectives, and she serves with open arms and love in her heart.