Teacher leaves school setting but still teaches at for-profit learning center

After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in education, David Henderson thought he had his life as a teacher all planned out.

He was young, single and wanted to live near a big city that had both NFL and a NBA teams.

In 1996 he moved to Mount Pleasant to teach elementary school. He chose this area because it “sits nicely between the mountains and the beach,” he said.

Although he had no family in the area, he thought it would be a great place to spread his wings.

He taught second grade at Mount Pleasant Elementary for five years. He also worked part time in Concord as director for a local privately-owned learning center called the Instant Achievement Center.

He didn’t know that part-time job would change his life.

“Teaching and working as a director blended my love for working with families and students with a growing interest in private industry and business,” Henderson said.

Eventually Henderson got married and started a family of his own. The financial struggles that ensued made him realize how difficult that is to do on a teacher’s salary.

“The approach of my first daughter’s birth led to my request to have a full-time position at the Instant Achievement Center,” he said, “and with that, that opportunity to increase my income to support a family,” he said.

“I left the classroom so I could afford to raise my family.

“I did quite well in business and thought I was financially secure enough to return to the classroom,” he said. “I contracted as a long-term (substitute teacher) at Furr Elementary in 2008 and also taught one full year at Cox Mill Elementary School.”

Henderson enjoyed teaching and had planned to stay in the profession. But with two more additions to the family, he was forced to return to the business world.

That’s when Henderson decided to venture out on his own by opening a business where he combines two things that he loves: business and education.

It’s a franchise of a company called Learning Rx, which helps students improve their academic achievement.

“Looking back, I was most happy when teaching and running the Instant Achievement Center,” Henderson said. “Opening Learning Rx allowed me to do both those things again.

“Plus it has given me the opportunity to combine my skills and passions for helping the community while being home for my family,” he said. “Plus it’s fun.”

Sometimes plans don’t always work out the way we think they will, like Henderson’s original plan of being a teacher for the rest of his life. So he adjusted his plans, and he believes that has worked out for the best in the long run.