Brighthouse got its start in 2017 when educator, Michele Tinker, started teaching small groups of 7th-12th grade twice exceptional (2e) students at the kitchen table in her home. The next year she opened a learning center in a larger rented space to accommodate more of these incredible students. She has been serving Northshore families and students from St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana ever since. Michele’s background in neuroscience and its application in teaching has fostered a unique and highly successful educational alternative for students in this area.
Brighthouse’s continued growth has propelled us towards adding a full-time Licensed Professional Counselor, and expanding into a larger permanent space with acres and nature, soon. Michele is a seasoned teacher of 33 years and has received numerous national teaching awards and grants. She is married, has four grown children and lives in Covington, LA.
Brighthouse is a Great place for your child!
Licensed Professional Counselor
Bethanie Simon is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with clinical and professional experience in both academic and community settings. Bethanie earned both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and her Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Louisiana State University.
She is a member of the American Counseling Association, as well as the Louisiana Counseling Association (LCA), and she presented at the LCA conference in 2016. Bethanie has worked with clients ranging from ages 5 to 65 and has most recently worked with students at the university level advising for a range of academic needs. She has over three years’ experience working with students to help them identify their academic and personal strengths, explore different majors and career paths, and support students with academic, social, emotional, and adjustment-related challenges. Bethanie enjoys working with students individually and in groups using strengths-based and solution-focused techniques. Bethanie’s goal as a Counselor is to work collaboratively with her students to educate, listen, and build the skills and confidence her students need to feel successful in their academic and personal lives.
What is 2e?
We are dedicated to educating the broader community that surrounds and supports 2e students in St. Tammany Parish. By using best practices, research, 2e compatible curriculum and methods, teacher training, and community outreach we can foster support well beyond the classroom.
We love that neuroscience has implications for the classroom (Dr. Pat Wolfe).
Neuroscience impacts the 2000 decisions, on average, that a teacher makes in the classroom every day. For example, too much academic stress causes shutdown while not enough leads to boredom. Creating the right amount of energy in the student inspires learning. Knowing how “differently wired” (author, Debbie Reber) students learn best, having the freedom to synchronize curriculum plan and pace, selecting most advantageous assessment methods (Dr. Melanie Hayes), combining desirable activities with less desirable activities (Seth Perler), supporting executive function and much more are our skills with which we practice the art of teaching. These esteemed colleagues and many more have pioneered this field of research, opened 2e schools after starting from their kitchen tables, developed a new strength-based vocabulary to open minds and lines of communication, confirmed what we already knew in our hearts, and established a new standard for education.
We provide a warm, home-like environment with soft comfortable furniture, quiet spaces, sensory safe spaces, and the freedom to move about at-will. Students enjoy healthy snacks, water, and bathroom access throughout the day, as needed. When students tour Brighthouse they say, “I’ve found my place.”
people ♥ us
Parents share what they love about Brighthouse in the following testimonials.
“Michele Tinker is a wonderful teacher in every way! She knows each student on a personal level and meets them where they are when it comes to learning. She recognizes that not every child learns in the same way and caters the learning environment to optimize the success of each of her students.
When we first enrolled our son in Brighthouse Learning, he had already been in two schools. Neither of them was able to meet his unique educational needs as a person with Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Disorder. Now, as an 8th grader he is getting the challenge that he needs in a warm, nurturing environment. He is so happy to go to school each day which is a huge celebration for our family! He is thriving in school and his love of learning is stronger than it has ever been!
He has enjoyed getting to know his fellow students and has practiced interacting in a positive way, socializing and manners. This is an important life skill for a person with Asperger’s Syndrome.
We are so grateful for Mrs. Tinker and look forward to many more years of success at Brighthouse Learning!”
“Michele Tinker is a beautiful lady inside and out! She is kind, soft spoken, and very patient, yet means what she says. She makes learning fun using creative “hands on” projects to promote understanding the lesson better. She integrates the subjects to teach “real life” concepts.
The children love her and blossom under her hand. While teaching 4th grade in California, she received the PTA “Teacher of the Year” award. Quite an honor! My granddaughter has been with Mrs. Tinker for two grade levels and we have seen such tremendous growth in academics and maturity. We are so blessed to have found Mrs. Tinker and Brighthouse Learning Center!”
“We have been very pleased with our choice of Michele Tinker at Brighthouse Learning Center for our daughter’s 9th grade educational program. Actually, it was our daughter’s choice to come to Brighthouse. We toured multiple home school tutors and she selected Mrs. Tinker to be her teacher. This “buy in” step has proved to be important as our daughter admires and respects Mrs. Tinker; and we have seen a direct impact on her level of effort and willingness to learn.
Our daughter has had issues with traditional classrooms in terms of her focus (she has ADD/ADHD) and her behavior (she has not always been cooperative or collaborative with other students). At Brighthouse, she has been motivated to learn and not get overwhelmed with the mechanics or process of a school. We have seen her grades improve, her rate of learning increase, better attention to academic detail and a renewed sense of pride in her schoolwork. We are grateful to Michele for her impact with our daughter.
Mrs. Tinker follows Louisiana State Standards and her selection of curriculum is parallel to other state accredited schools. She is extremely knowledgeable of different teaching approaches to meet the needs of individual children. Using these techniques, to engage students in literature, math, and biblical studies.
We also wish to celebrate the positive, encouraging atmosphere with regards to the other Brighthouse students. There is a friendship and comradery that has allowed our daughter to relax and begin enjoying her time “at school”. Homework is light where it had been overwhelming. Our daughter is now largely self-directed in terms of her study time and preparation for tests. Her confidence and self-concept have been restored. We are very grateful to Michele for her wisdom and guidance in this process.”