In 2011, Laura Braxton started thinking she needed a change from her job as a kindergarten teacher. Nothing major, just a different grade level. Instead, Laura ended up diving head first as a Teams of Tomorrow director.
Laura started receiving emails about the program, but said it sounded too good to be true. She and her husband decided to attend an informational meeting just to give it a chance, but after listening to Missy Washam’s presention, they were sold.
“By the end of that meeting I was like ‘Ok, this might be as good as it gets,’” Laura said. “She is incredible. We walked out of that meeting feeling really good about it.”
While the decision was easy to make, as director of Richardson-Plano TOT, Laura learned there were a few challenges in front of her, despite having a great program. She said she originally thought the program would market itself, but realized being in a metroplex, there was a lot of competition.
“It was about finding a way to compete with those programs,” she said. “I was the face. I was the one who went and talked to directors, I answered questions and answered emails and did everything.”
Originally, it was just Laura teaching TOT classes, but over the years she was able to grow her franchise. She now has three teachers teaching over 17 TOT classes.
But, growing her franchise isn’t the only thing that happened in the last eight years. Laura and her husband started their family four years into their TOT journey. They now have two sons, one of whom is a TOT kid.
The value of Teams of Tomorrow has never been lost on Laura. As a director, she has autonomy over her life.
“I’m able to still be a mom, have an impact and bring in income,” she said. “It is so awesome that I’m able to do that.”
And as a Teams of Tomorrow parent, she also sees the direct impact and value it brings to TOT children. She said she was very careful to not push TOT onto her son, but that he was excited to participate.
“He’s grown up with the TOT balls and thinks they’re all his anyway,” she said. “He was definitely excited when he was able to join… It’s fun because it’s me living vicariously through him.”
Laura currently doesn’t teach any of her TOT classes, but is focused on increasing TOT in her area and making sure her teachers and students are happy. But, don’t expect Laura to wait too much longer before stepping back into the classroom.
“I was honestly thinking I would start teaching again this year…” she said. “My husband didn’t want me to bite off more than I could chew. My boys are in school two days a week so I still have time to get things done, check on things and catch my breath. I think I’ll stay out one more year. I miss it but it’s a super huge blessing to have teachers who can teach it.”
Laura says she’s able to stay so motivated after so many years because of how passionate she is about the program and reiterated the freedom it has allowed her as a mom.
“I am super thankful for the opportunity,” she said. “It’s even more awesome to see the cool things it has to offer.”
And if anyone is considering a change like she was, Laura has a simple suggestion.
“Believe in the process,” she said. “The things we have in place now are so incredible as far as resources. The TOT staff is such wonderful, franchisee-minded people. They are in it for us and to help make it great. If you trust the process, it will happen.”