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How the Most Popular TED Talk of All Time Inspired Blyth-Templeton’s Approach to Quality, Affordable Private Education

student-centered learning

Interesting things can come from the unscheduled hours of a flight delay. A bout of bad weather during a layover between Austin and Washington D.C. gave me the gift of several free hours to catch up on long-neglected articles and podcasts. Before I knew it, I was musing about the original founding of the Blyth-Templeton Academy model and about the questions I asked then and still ask myself about how education ought to work in order to best serve kids.

Here’s an exploration of some of the questions that I have been asking and answering as the BTA team pioneers a re-conceptualization of...

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4 Things Parents Should “Unlearn” When it Comes to Education

student-centered learning, parents and education

 In my more than 30 years teaching and leading high schools, I often see parents unknowingly sabotage their own child’s success. They’ve been bombarded with messages that tell them, “the more involved you are in your child’s education, the more they will learn.”

The interpretation of this involvement maxim has come to mean helping with homework, rushing to school to bring the forgotten book, offering a multitude of enrichment activities, hiring tutors, and using carrots and sticks to motivate.

It’s not that parent involvement isn’t crucial to success, but many of us are doing it wrong. 

In...

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What is the Magic of the Inclusive School?

student-centered learning

As a parent, it is heartbreaking to watch your teen struggle through adolescence. As adults, we know adolescence is the trial and error period leading to adulthood. Learning to navigate the adolescent years is a critical step toward becoming a satisfied adult.  

It is still difficult to stand by while watching teens question their role among their peers.

This is precisely why parents should prioritize a small, inclusive school environment during the high school years.

In this post, we will walk through the magic that happens for teens who are given both the space and freedom to grow and...

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The Two Big Reasons You Won’t Find AP Courses at Our Small Independent DC School

learning community, student-centered learning

Earlier this year, eight independent schools in DC made headlines when they collectively announced their decision to move away from offering Advanced Placement (AP) courses to their high school students.

While this move represented a major and potentially controversial step for these school leaders, the team here at Blyth-Templeton Academy (BTA) was not surprised by it.

The question of AP courses was one that we considered long and hard as we developed our school model three years ago, and at the time, we deliberately chose a forward thinking vision of education that didn’t include APs. In...

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Lifelong Learning: Thinking Big Picture About Your High Schooler's Success

lifelong learning, student-centered learning

At any given back-to-school information night, at any number of schools in Washington D.C., you will hear teachers, faculty, and administrators proudly highlighting the numerous programs and initiatives at their school, all designed to bolster your child’s college resume and help them get into the university of their dreams.

But you won’t hear that same speech at an information night at Blyth-Templeton Academy (BTA).

Now, these options are not necessarily bad things - there is certainly merit in extracurricular activities, academic clubs, and test prep - and at BTA, we offer plenty of ways...

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