When we welcome a student into our school, they are going to be successful. They are going to learn about themselves, take responsibility, and gain the skills necessary for their future. Not all students will do this at the same pace, in the same way, or through the same activities, subjects, or interests. Ultimately, they will experience success.
- The rapport established between teachers and students is essential to learning.
During the intake process, significant time is devoted to selecting instructors who will be the best match for each student. Often, Chrysalis is the first school where they established deeper connections with their teachers.
- Every student is a valued individual with unique physical, emotional, social, and intellectual needs.
We all have unique ways of learning, commonly referred to as our Learning Style. We have preferences for how we take in new information and how we relay that information to others. A student’s struggle in a traditional school setting is often a matter of style. Most students are flexible and can work and learn in a variety of styles. At Chrysalis, we carefully select teachers who will best be able to accommodate the student’s unique style, build on the strengths of this style, and begin to stretch the student’s style when he or she is ready. Students appreciate the understanding nature of their teachers.
- Learning occurs in a safe environment free from coercion, shame, and humiliation.
In a one-on-one setting, students are free to take risks without the fear of embarrassing themselves in front of their peers and they are encouraged to ask their teacher questions.
- Teachers are models and guides in the learning process.
We have a variety of traditional text materials that we use as guides for a course. The greatest method of delivering subject matter is through discussion. Two-way conversations about varying topics occurs in each class everyday. Teachers model how they think about information, how they organize information, and how they make decisions.
- Self-esteem develops when students are validated for who they are as a person, and their natural abilities are recognized and nurtured.
Marcus Buckingham wrote a series of books showing that individuals realize their greatest growth in their areas of strength. Those strengths begin to emerge at a very young age and teachers have to be perceptive enough to notice. Students are quick to tell us what is easy and what is hard, what is weakening and what is strengthening, who they learn from easily and who they struggle with in their learning. We listen and respond. We will change a teacher or teaching approach if the student indicates that a particular schedule or dynamic isn’t working for them.
- Students learn best by being actively engaged in their learning process.
Brain research clearly indicates that for the brain to retain and retrieve information, the learner must be focused and engaged in the lesson. Engagement must come first, before content, for mastery to occur. Incorporating a student’s interests in their course of study is one way we engage students in learning.
- A student’s self-confidence leads to academic success.
The most profound result of a student’s experience at Chrysalis is a significant gain in self-confidence. Every detail about the student’s program, from the time of day their classes are scheduled, to their assigned teachers, is designed to improve performance and build confidence through incremental successes.
- There are many ways of assessing student learning.
Each class period involves an assessment in one form or another. Teachers employ oral and written quizzes, presentations and professional observations to help them evaluate student knowledge. These assessments play an integral role in determining the next steps in the student’s program. We believe students need to be reflective about their performance. Together with their teacher, they can determine their goals and grades.
- Subject mastery can occur when student learning proceeds at an individual pace–according to their ability level.
Brain research clearly demonstrates that if the learner does not understand information, mastery and long term memory storage will not occur. Students are inundated with statistics, data, and concepts that make sense to them in the moment and are quickly forgotten. The teacher, then, has to start again. Understanding is a critical element for storing information in long-term memory. Some students require more processing time to store information and we take that time for them. Subjects are adjusted for the student’s pace.
- Learning is an enjoyable and personal process.
School should be fun. If a student enjoys school that means they understand the material and they have an adequate challenge. Classwork that is too challenging creates anxiety and classwork that is not challenging enough creates boredom. The right teacher is a critical factor in setting the appropriate challenge level and fostering an enjoyable experience.
- All students will improve their academic school performance.
Independent research, as well as our 30 plus years of experience, have shown that all students improve their school performance when working with a teacher one-on-one. Every student has a just right combination of one-on-one courses, small group classes and larger group experiences.
- The community offers valuable learning experiences and resources for students.
Our flexible schedule allows students time to participate in community sports and engage in community service. Many of our students and their families travel or compete in sporting events that take them to different cities and even countries. These are valuable pursuits and we support students pursing their passions.