Theme based teaming

Teachers and students form teams / cohorts for the year and earn credits in a non-traditional format.

Photo of Abra Summers
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Students want to belong. Transforming the way high school is done and allowing teachers to form more of a team approach (sort of like academies, but smaller, and more focused) would allow students a chance to be a part of a group--something special. We've seen this effect in SPIRE, where students are very excited to be a part of something special and different. We could do so much more with other teachers and a clear focus of integration and of relevancy for the students. 

Each team of teachers can use the team set-up to develop integrated approaches that best work for their students. Critical thinking skills can be developed as teams work for the semester/year to answer an overarching question of their choosing. This will also allow teams to form context for their lessons. 

This approach would allow for extreme flexibility within a school day. No longer will students be forced to sit through 4 classes in a row, which is tiring and repetitive. A longer block of time allows for teachers and students to set up a variety of experiences. 

Share insights you heard during your empathy work.

I heard time and time again that students want to be part of groups. They want to be busy all day doing things that are meaningful. They want to understand why their learning matters.

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I love this idea! I would like to see more focused pathways offered for students based on their interest.