The traditional classroom has been much like The Pit on Wall Street. The atmosphere created by the traditional school system creates a culture much like this. Instead of jumping up and down and/or yelling, students still need to raise their hand to share their idea and no matter how hard a teacher works to create a safe culture, introverts have learned that if they raise their hand and say something strange, silly, or wrong, the class gawks at them. Feeling awkward never becomes fun. By the time high school or college rolls around, introverts have learned to stay quiet in their shell.
One of the greatest pleasures in working in education involves helping students grow from year to year. The greatest gift? An email or visit from a former student who has grown into a remarkable adult. The flip side of this though is that in the traditional school structure, some students slip through the cracks because it's too difficult to personalize education. Too difficult to bring struggling 9th graders up to speed.
“What about socialization?” is possibly the most often-asked question when parents are considering enrolling their child into an online high school. What many do not realize is that the institutionalized approach of most site-based public schools can undermine a student both socially and academically.
Today's question: How can online high school curriculum best gear students for the modern world they grow up in? (tweet this!) I love when students read the brilliant article called Nacirema.
Take a look in my office, my kitchen, and my living room and you'll notice bookshelves lining the walls, aged paper-texts stacked tightly filling the shelves. So, when it came time to take a look at online reading, I stood last in line and let others cut ahead. Then I saw my students read from the smartphone, Kindle, Nook, and laptop, and began to notice the incredible benefit online reading has to struggling learners.
As a graduate of Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences, I feel like I’ve learned a great deal of how to cope with the ultimate freedom CMASAS provided us by assigning a no-deadline curriculum. Undoubtedly, it’s the best thing a school can give since we could work our minds off thoroughly on our assignments without being forced, while keeping up with our extra-curricular activities.
Rachel's parents had bigger smiles of pride than they ever wore before, but their smiles paled to the smile that graced their only daughter's face. In her hand she held the paper that announced her biggest achievement to date, her graduation from high school. For many young adults, this is a normal part of growing up, but Rachel's parents weren't sure they would ever see this day. Rachel was born with autism. Rachel had always tried hard to do her best, but traditional schools became exceedingly difficult as she grew older. Those schools thwarted the one aspect of her personality that shown above the rest. She was an incredibly creative soul who needed to do things her way. One day, after yet another bad day that saw Rachel in tears and her parents frustrated, someone in their support group suggested they look into a top quality online school that focuses a personalized education.
Marcus was a precocious child, even as a toddler. He put on shows to entertain the neighborhood kids. He was cast in child roles at the local repertoire theater and sang in summer stock musicals. By the time he was old enough for middle school, he put his 10-year old foot down. Marcus refused to go to junior high because he wanted to go into "show biz."
Nobody can settle for ordinary anymore. You have to stand out. You have to go the extra mile. The only way to do this is to find your passion. An online high school personalized for your creativity helps you go that extra mile.
Every spring, online high school students receive acceptance letters and mothers and fathers gleefully tell friends and family about young Timmy's launch into college then career stardom over a delicious bar-b-que party.