Emily Feistritzer, who was a Catholic nun in her youth, later became a teacher. In 2011, she created TEACH-NOW, a company that trains and certifies teachers around the world. It is now a multimillion-dollar business.William Brangham returns, having caught up with Feistritzer in her Washington, D.C., home.
For creating a program that allows military veterans to become certified teachers, Teach-Now founder and CEO Emily Feistritzer is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People of 2019.
The former nun was in what was then Riggs Bank on 14th and F Street one Friday afternoon, begging the loan officer for $20,000 that she swore she would pay back in three months or, as she gestured with a grand wave, “I will work 14th Street.”
"I have found that when teachers start using the internet as a primary resource, it changes the way that they teach not just online, but in their classrooms. They find resources that they didn’t know existed, from engaging yoga lessons for 5-year-olds to tours of Machu Picchu that are so realistic that a child feels like she is standing in the Peruvian mountains. It shouldn’t take a worldwide pandemic to teach our instructors to integrate rich educational content into remote instruction."
Emily Feistritzer, a 78-year-old former nun, learned as far back as the 1970s that she didn’t like traditional teaching methods, like talking at students as if she were the expert, and organizing learning around planned lessons. A more collaborative approach, she came to believe, was far better. She founded two education foundations that sought to conduct and distribute the most up-to-date research in the field, and, in 2011, she founded Teach-Now, which trains and certifies teachers online.