Finding the Right School Fit
Today’s special guest post was written by Steven Guttentag, PhD, president of Connections Academy.
For some students, the return to school signals an end—of summer, of adventure, of marathon Xbox sessions. Their school years flow into and out of one another, one much the same as any other. For other students, though, the first day of school brings consistency of a different kind—challenge. Challenge to keep up, to remain engaged, to move forward.
In many cases, students’ struggling is not due to lack of effort (though they may have reached a point of not caring anymore). Often, it’s because they aren’t able to effectively learn in an environment that has been established to teach students en masse rather than as individual learners. They just don’t fit the school.
What if the school were designed to fit them instead?
Personalized learning might feel like an overused buzz phrase, but it has been the core of innovative schools for decades. Once outliers, early online and blended learning programs learned lessons that impact and inform classrooms across the country today. The flexibility of time, curriculum, and environment allows these models the potential to mold to the individual learner and support the unique needs of students who might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.
I recently shared a story on EdTech Digest highlighting what is possible when a student finds the right fit, discovers how he or she learns, and comes to love learning. Alex’s story has inspired many in her home state of Ohio and, as the United States heads back to school, serves as a timely reminder of why those of us working to transform education remain motivated to make school fit for each student.
Parents who switch their children to online school do so for various reasons. If you’re still in the decision-making stage, take a look at Alex’s story. Whatever your situation may be, it’s likely you will find elements of Alex’s journey familiar and insightful. I encourage you to consider what many families have found to be a rewarding way to ensure that their children get the personalized education they deserve.