The relationship between a student and teacher is an essential ingredient for academic success. Students who know their teachers are more likely to pay attention, respect authority and go above and beyond in their efforts — and it works the other way around, too.
When teachers have specialized knowledge of a student, of his or her strengths and interests, they have an edge on communicating with those children in the most effective and helpful ways possible. That's why small classroom learning can be so important. Classes that are bursting at the seams struggle to provide the kind of individualized attention that has been shown, time and again, to help students flourish.
Small schools embrace student-centered teaching as the core of their mission. They want every student to develop a personalized relationship with their teachers, one that is rooted in trust and mutual respect. These kinds of relationships aren't easy to create, but their rewards are vast. In these micro-schools, classrooms are small on purpose, to keep students engaged in learning and on-task while they’re in the learning environment.
Two significant advantages of a small class size have produced a positive impact on student learning and development:
- Limited-seat classes enrich the academic experience of students, especially when combined with a curriculum of experiential learning and hands-on activities. Students in small classes have an ability to show all the sides of their multi-faceted personalities, instead of becoming a one-note character in a 40-child cohort.
- Without the capacity to fade into the background, students who attend a micro school become fully engaged in their education. They are responsible to an instructor who knows them well and understands their unique abilities and can push them, individually, to develop a broader capacity for hard work.
By giving the student-teacher relationship the right environment in which to grow, you can put busy young minds on the track toward future success.Whether a child has had problems in the past by being disruptive to get attention or has simply wilted under the strain of a large classroom audience, they can benefit from the smaller stage and increased teacher attention available through smaller class sizes.