During the last 18 months, I have served as the mathematics teacher for an alternative high school in Nederland, CO. Our school operates with three full-time instructors and several support staff who teach various electives. One unique feature of our school is the advisory program.
New students, within the first week of attendance, must interview each staff member. This provides an opportunity to meet every adult in the school and assists in the advisor-advisee matching process. The students provide three choices of adults to serve as their advisor until graduation.
This program has been extremely effective in building relationships and a culture of trust between students and staff. Every year, students are given a small budget for occasional outings to converse over coffee or tea about academics, social-emotional concerns or any topic that may arise. Students continue to provide positive feedback about the programme.
Although many schools are unable to scale our model due to an insufficient quantity of professional staff members, perhaps we as educators can still encourage the youth we serve to seek out adults with life experience who can assist in guiding these students towards self-actualization.
@RTBCoaching Maths/Electives Teacher – Colorado, United States