The Value of TIS (Part I)
I wish that everyone could see what I see in The Innovation School. I wrote a blog post last year telling our story and journey to The Innovation School and this year I want to try to really convey the value this school has to offer in a few blog posts over a series.
I get asked many times throughout the school year, “What is The Innovation School?” And it’s been somewhat of a struggle to explain the difference between a public or more traditional school vs this amazing school, The Innovation School. And, the best way I know how to explain it is to show them all the amazing things this school offers that you will not find in the more traditional school setting.
For the first part of my series I want to talk about the school size and structure and how it makes a difference. The size is one of the biggest things I value about the school and it isn’t necessarily because of the number of students.
The Innovation School is smaller than your average school. Sebastian is 8 and he is in 2nd grade and his class consists of 9 students. They are known as the “Teal Band.” The Teal Band consists of students of many different ages and learning styles/talents. I love this for many reasons but mainly being he gets to work with students that have wide-ranging strengths and interests that aren't defined by grade or age.
Sebastian gets to learn how to help and teach those who need it like working with the younger students and he gets to experience what it is like to be taught and helped by someone a little older than him. He isn’t just with his same-age peers, he is with a community of students. He isn’t in a school where he is considered “smarter” than or “behind” his peers. He is getting to learn his strengths and his weaknesses and he gets to learn to apply them in a healthy environment.
Because of the small class he is able to get more one-on-one attention with the skills he is working on developing. He also gets to thrive with the skills he is more advanced with. There is no getting behind or having to wait until the rest of the class is caught up before getting to move forward. Best of all, he gets to work in a community setting instead of working by himself like in most traditional school settings. In the “real world” we work with others and we figure things out and learn with each other and from one another and very rarely do we figure things out by ourselves. I love the community aspect, the helping one another, and the small size of the class so Sebastian can get the support he needs as a learner and individual.
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