Parents and students often wonder if high school will be a shock after graduating from The Children’s School. They worry: "Will a progressive education prepare them for the demands of a more mainstream educational environment? Will the absence of standardized tests, grades, and exams put them at a disadvantage compared to students from other schools? Will they succeed academically and socially?"
We recently completed our annual survey of alumni and their parents. Here are a few of this year’s responses from alumni on two key questions:
What did TCS do particularly well in preparing you for academic success?
"TCS did very well in academically preparing me for math in middle school.”
“My (TCS) teacher supported me every step of the way and was also willing to help as I switched schools at the last second and supported me outside of school to prepare me by practicing math concepts and just reassuring me.”
“I can contribute to a discussion and think critically.”
“I was particularly prepared with skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, group work, self-motivation, and general understanding across academic subjects.”
“Being able to work in a group and sit down and listen and take notes.”
“Critical thinking skills.”
What did you carry with you from your time at TCS that you find useful?
“Communication with teachers and self-confidence.”
“Social skills.” (Note: Multiple alumni cited "social skills" as a positive asset they gained from their TCS education.)
“I think my ability to work independently and with more freedom is because of TCS and that has helped me in some of my harder classes that expect students to take slightly more control of their academics.”
“TCS taught me to be open to talking to my teachers if I need help or I have a question.”
“I think the fact of accepting everyone...and also working in groups.”
“A more foundational love of learning that has allowed me not only to succeed, but to enjoy what I'm doing.”
“Learning to learn, not for a grade.”
We’re proud to report that these students, like their fellow TCS graduates who we’ve surveyed over the years, consider themselves to be doing well or very well in high school. They also credit specific aspects of their TCS education for their success.
We are especially pleased to see “social skills” and “critical thinking skills” popping up in so many responses. We also see repeating themes of alumni feeling a greater ease in approaching and establishing positive relationships with teachers in high school. These are assets that define lifelong learners and young people who have the skills and self-esteem to successfully adapt to a wide variety of challenges and demands.
Let us know if you’d like to share observations or experiences you've had with your current or former student's progress, or have questions about your child’s progressive education journey and transitioning to high school.
(From our email publication "Spotlight" May 31, 2017 - to receive "Spotlight in your inbox, join our mailing list!)