When it is the right fit, school can be a place where curiosity is piqued and students delve into areas that help them grow and make sense of the world. Schools that foster learning through varied experiences with active engagement create this success. Schools that are driven or limited by external factors (testing, class size, etc.) might be less able to engage students.
Teens develop their sense of identity from their affiliations and successes. Supportive families, youth groups, sports teams, etc. all influence teens. So does school. Does your teen feel smart, capable, empowered, and alive at school? If so, then school is helping to foster a lifelong positive identity. If not, look at options. Public. Private. Running Start. Vocational. Online. Home school. Explore! Take action!
There are many styles of schools to support our teens. Within these schools, there are even more possibilities. Don’t settle for the wrong fit. We all remember (decades later!) the messages we got from our schooling. I pursued Spanish because of teacher encouragement and success. It meant a lifetime of world travel for me. My brother, now a grandfather, never felt like a strong reader, again influenced by school experiences early in his life.
We want teens to leave high school feeling confident and capable. Make sure your teen has the right fit for school. Let’s launch each teen as Thoreau encouraged, to “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you have imagined!”