In most public education systems teaching methods are geared towards the majority. Schools just aren’t equipped to employ alternative educational models for students who learn in a different way, or need individualized attention.
Students that don’t learn effectively in a public school environment are often viewed as not as smart as the others, disruptive, unproductive, or in need of outside tutoring. In reality many of these students are very smart and might excel in an environment geared towards their style of learning and interests. But when trying to fit into a model that doesn’t work for them many students begin to develop resentments towards school or teachers and dread going each day. This can be stressful for the student, the parents and the educators.
Every Weakness Has Corresponding Strength
Getting bad reports from school often leaves parents wondering what went wrong or why they can’t seem to motivate their child to do better in school. But this type of thinking doesn’t get to the root of the problem.
Dave Kerpen, a New York Times best selling author, believes there are strengths hidden in every weakness and encourages us to think differently about perceived weaknesses and look to their corresponding strengths including:
- Disruptive > Innovative
- Disorganized > Creative
- Stubborn > Dedicated
- Shy > Reflective
- Irresponsible > Adventurous
- Inconsistent > Flexible
Why is this important? Many traits a teacher might consider negative about your child also have a positive side that isn’t being fostered. If a learning environment discourages a certain behavior, your child may not be able to fully develop their own strengths.
For example, if a teacher considers a child is disruptive because they often interrupt with questions during a lesson, is the child really trying be disruptive or are they coming up with new ideas or ways to apply the lesson and are too excited not to share?
Teaching to a Child’s Strengths
There are schools across the U.S. and here in Richmond, Virginia that cater to the students whose strengths aren’t being fully realized at other schools. Creatives, inventors, adventurers, and those willing to consider more than one way to arrive at an answer often find themselves in school environments that don’t develop valuable strengths.
Christopher Columbus, Mozart, Thomas Jefferson, Socrates, Picasso, Steve Jobs, and thousands of others that didn’t fit in the “societal norm” have shaped our nation and the world into what it is today.
Who Does Well At Brook Road Academy?
Brook Road Academy is a non-traditional, college-preparatory middle and high school at St. Joseph’s Villa. We provide a holistic approach to education to a diverse group of students who haven’t been successful in traditional classrooms.
All students benefit from Brook Road Academy’s conversational approach, and students with diagnoses including ADHD, depression, school phobia and Asperger’s Syndrome realize even more benefit, as the school provides opportunities for positive social interactions that they just won’t find in most other schools.
We value each student as an individual. Enrollment is deliberately capped at 50 students to create an intimate learning environment in which they can reach their full potential. This small class lends itself to our conversational approach designed specifically to draw students out, make them confident about voicing their opinions, and help them learn important interpersonal and decision-making skills, and prepare for what lies after school. It can literally change a child’s life.
Contact us to learn more about our non-traditional school, methods of teaching, or to discuss if Brook Road Academy might be a fit for your child.