Too many youth today get lost in the traditional public school system. It’s not the teachers’ fault; they have more students to keep track of than ever. And it’s not the fault of the students who are just being their normal teenage selves. It’s because we don’t have enough micro-schools lead the way in education today.
I firmly believe that we need to teach children how to develop and nurture relationships with their teachers, a skill that will serve them well in college and beyond. Because this doesn’t typically happen in public education, we must turn to different models to get it done.
Today’s guests on the Education Evolution podcast are students at LEADPrep Academy, a flagship micro-school in the Seattle area. In fact, this is the school I founded and lead. Too often we forget to let today’s students have a voice in society, and today we give Frankie and Max, a sophomore and junior respectively, that voice.
Tune in as we hear about the best part of attending a micro-school, how teacher relationships make a difference (even in distance learning), and why traditional online school doesn’t always work. The boys also share some insight into how their own friendship circles are doing with the changes caused by COVID-19.
About Frank Rosner
Frank is a 10th grader at Leadership Preparatory Academy and also works with toddlers with special needs at the Kindering Center. He has a unique perspective on these youngsters as a special needs student himself. He is diagnosed with a variety of learning challenges, including autism. Frank is a homebody who loves to cook, clean, garden, and knit! He also has three pet tarantulas.
About Max Pierce
Max is a junior at LEADPrep and also takes classes at the local college. He particularly loves his college communication class. Max has always had a hard time focusing in school and started taking medication for his ADHD in fourth grade. When middle school got rocky, his parents suspected he wasn’t getting the attention he needed and started to search for alternatives that eventually led him to LEADPrep. He immediately felt like he was among friends and people he could trust. Max works at his local coffee shop and loves traveling, snowboarding, being with his friends, and…sleeping!
Jump Through the Conversation
[1:04] Who are Frankie and Max?
[1:48] What works best at a micro-school for Max and Frankie
[4:43] How the impact of relationships have impacted Frankie’s ability to learn
[6:10] What Max thinks about online school through LEADPrep (and college courses)
[9:34] How Max and Frankie (and their friends) are handling social distancing
[12:45] Frankie’s Magic Wand: Early years, small groups, neurodiversity celebrated, active learning
[15:35] Max’s Magic Wand: Empathy and learner-centered middle schools
Links and Resources:
- Finland’s model of creative play and equality gets top scores in the world: Driven by a commitment to equality (on both moral and economic grounds), it outlaws school selection, formal examinations (until the age of 18) and streaming by ability. “Teaching to the test” is an alien concept. Free school meals are universally provided.
- Neurodiverse classrooms focus on strengths over deficits
- Learner-Centered–an important paradigm shift
- Reasons to not let labels define our learners
- Why strong student-teacher relationships and trust matter
- Email Maureen
- Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with Maureen
- Facebook: Follow Education Evolution
- Twitter: Follow Education Evolution
- LinkedIn: Follow Education Evolution
- Maureen’s book: Creating Micro-Schools for Colorful Mismatched Kids
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