If you are new to the idea of experiential learning, it can be tough to visualize what the school day looks like at Blyth-Templeton Academy. In our Day in the Life series, we present descriptive stories and visuals in order to help you picture what it would be like for your child to become a part of our small, student-centered environment.
Sarah stops by the Little Pearl for a cup of coffee on her way to school from the Eastern Market Metro Station, feeling refreshed and excited about the day ahead. When she had gone to public school, she had had so much homework that she often stayed up late. Then a 7:30 am start time got her up much earlier than she was ready for. 9 am is such a civilized time to start school, she thought with a smile.
She loves being able to take the metro to school. It gives her so much independence and flexibility after school. She especially loves Fridays when she can head out for an early dinner with friends after she gets out of school and not have to rely on a parent to drive her. At the Little Pearl, she runs into her friend Joe and they start talking excitedly about their presentation in English 10 class that morning.
Sarah has been at Blyth-Templeton Academy since her 9th grade year. Her neighborhood has a top-rated public school, but after years of huge class sizes and teach-to-the-test curricula at the feeder public schools, Sarah begged her parents to be allowed to look at other options for high school. One visit to BTA and Sarah was sold on its calm hallways and tiny classes.
Now, in 10th grade, she is even more convinced than ever that she has made the right choice. She especially loves taking only two classes at a time. Focusing in on the course material and being able to do large collaborative projects really works well for her learning style.
As Sarah and Joe head into English 10, the teacher tries to settle the students in for an opening exercise. The seven of them get started on the work, but are all so excited about sharing their projects with the class that day that it is hard for them to quiet down. The teacher picks up on their excitement and quickly transitions into project presentations.
Sarah and Joe volunteer to go first and confidently stand in front of the class. When Joe started at BTA as a 10th grader earlier in the year, he was terrified by giving class presentations. Now, a few months in, he is used to it and his public speaking skills have really flourished. Sarah has really polished her writing skills through all the projects and essays they have been working on.
Class time flies by and soon it is time for lunch. Sarah usually heads out to one of the many nearby eateries, but today she brought her lunch so she could have a few extra minutes to check in with her Mythology teacher. Mythology is her second class of the day and she has a few questions about the homework from the previous day. Luckily she easily finds her teacher in the main office and gets her questions answered before heading off to a classroom with her lunch. She happily sits with her friend Julia and the two gossip and giggle while eating. Soon it is time for Mythology, held in the same classroom where she ate.
Sarah has been working hard on her Mythology final project, assigning a set of myths and beliefs for a group of people from modern times. She has chosen ballerinas as she has been taking ballet for more than a decade and loves dance and its culture. Her project is really falling into place and she is glad when the teacher gives them time in class to work on it. After exchanging ideas with a classmate on their projects, Sarah participates in a lively discussion of the next day’s planned excursion. The class is going to the National Museum of the American Indian to explore the mythologies of Native Americans. Excursions are Sarah’s favorite part of BTA. She loves getting out of the classroom and exploring the city.
After the second class of the day, it is time for Flex Period. Flex is a time for getting homework done, especially group projects. Students can also seek out teachers for extra help and work collaboratively with classmates or alone.
Clubs and activities meet during Flex and Sarah is excited for her new activity, yoga class. With a yoga studio less than a block away, it is easy for the students to head over for a private class after school once a week. Although Sarah dances many hours a week after school, she is happy for the extra chance to practice mindfulness and stretch her body alongside her friends.
Heading back to school from yoga, Sarah texts her mother about her dance class that evening. Sarah will be getting to class via metro and then her Mom will be picking her up. Having time for homework during the school day has allowed Sarah to add an additional dance class to her weekly schedule. She usually takes ballet but this extra class is a tap class and she is enthusiastic about the new challenge.
Entering BTA, Sarah heads to a classroom and gets right to work on her English assignment for the night, writing a short essay on the day’s reading assignment. With that out of the way, she spends some time working on her Mythology project until it is time to head back to the metro. She is glad that she will have some time to continue working on it after dance class, but also glad that she won’t have to grind away deep into the night.
Getting ready for bed that night, Sarah looks back on her BTA day. She is exhausted, but happy with what she has accomplished. She climbs into bed, looking forward to another great day ahead.
Want to learn more about how YOUR child could grow and prepare for their future at BTA? Discover more at one of our upcoming Lunch and Learn events!