The last few months have taught us many valuable lessons. It is more evident that the standardization of time and standardizing how our students learn is proving to be an ineffective way for them to achieve personal goals. Remote learning has created the opportunity for education institutions to develop more individualized experiences. Whether it has involved small group Zoom sessions that focus on deeper discussions of the topics at hand, individualized sessions with a teacher or an opportunity to simply prioritize flexible, or less structured time. Many students, outside of the aforementioned experiences have discovered that they now have the time to further explore or develop passions in one or more areas. As evidenced by Tik Tok or YouTube videos, and myriad other social media platforms, kids are using their flexible time to demonstrate greater proficiency of a particular skill in music, art and sports. Using time in this way is productive if for no other reason than a person pursuing one’s passion. The pursuit of a passion while “doing school” increases a student’s level of mastery, overall desire to achieve their goals and most importantly, happiness. Wouldn’t it be great if school allowed us to not only maximize our learning and mastery of the academic skills and dispositions required to achieve success but to also pursue, deeply, an identified passion as well? Through our blended model consisting of the K12 platform and our own teachers, coaches, and mentors, students enrolled at Ethan Allen Preparatory benefit from flexible learning time as well as an ability to form positive relationships with adults who support them in and out of the classroom.
My suggested reading is written by Victoria Jones out of Harvard University.