Online School: Is It Right For You?

Online school is all the rage right now! Given current technology and a global pandemic, it only seems fitting. Online “school” can be a loose term, because it can mean partially online, partially in the classroom. It can mean some of your classes are online and some are in person. And it can also mean that your entire education is solely online. 

Here are some facts about an online school. I won’t list them out as pros/ cons because some of these points will be a positive thing for one person, but a negative for others. 

You typically can set your schedule. When the coursework is online, you can set your own pace and complete work around your schedule. 

Can have little in-person social interaction because it is all online. Some online programs may have in-person meet-up options, but it’s not typical. 

Books and course material can be cheaper since they are not spending the resources printing everything. 

You can work remotely, giving you the freedom to live in different places. Or even travel while going to school! 

It takes a lot of self-driven work because of the flexibility of time.  

Office hours with instructors typically are over video call or email, which can make it difficult when you are struggling with the material. 

Typically more affordable. 

WIFI has a big effect on your success. If you do not have good, reliable WIFI, it can cause a lot of stress and complications with your schooling. 

As a parent with a child in an online school, it can take more involvement from you to help with learning material. 

Online school can be incredibly convenient and stressful all in the same breath. There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to choose an online school! If you chose an online school for you or your child, how did you decide it was the right path for you? 

What Is The Purpose Of Higher Education?

We’ve covered on our blog that there are multiple forms of higher education. But I think it might be important to take a step back and ask the question- but what is the purpose of higher education? 

Looking at a broad, overall answer, the point of obtaining a higher education beyond high school is to gain the knowledge needed for a profession. It gives you a specialized field of study that later you can boast to potential employers. But, there is also a long list of other reasons we as humans work hard to obtain a higher education. They are (but not limited to): 

The social skills that inadvertently come with being in a school setting.

Networking with professors, potential future employers, and peers. 

Proving that you can work hard and achieve something that takes hard work.

It helps you meet the needs of your own self-fulfillment, giving you a higher purpose in life.  

Learning critical thinking skills, how to adapt to different situations, work with others, and gives you emotional intelligence and resilience. 

Studies show that individuals that have attended higher education courses tend to make healthier decisions in their lives. 

Other studies have shown that those that have achieved a degree in higher education show more success in their careers. There are less unemployment and job loss. 

There are plenty of reasons to obtain higher education from the institution of your choice. Not only are you studying a field that you want to pursue a career in, but you are also gaining relationships, networking, and meeting some of your most basic self-fulfillment needs. 

Teaching Sensing Students- Using MBTI In The Classroom

This post is part of a series of posts on teaching to different personality type indicators as found in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. To see more, head here

Last week I hit on teaching intuitive students based on the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator, this week I want to swing to the other end of the spectrum and talk about teaching students that lean more toward learning in a sensory environment instead of with their intuition. 

First, it’s important to note that we all as humans use both types, sensing, and intuition in our everyday lives. However, we naturally will choose one over the other more often, and use the opposing one less often. 

Sensing students are exactly what you would think- students that use their senses to learn. They are in it for the hear and now. They use their touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing to take in the world around them. 

Traits of sensing students: They look for the bottom line, they don’t try to make connections with other subjects or areas. They need the cold, hard facts written out for them. They need hands-on activities and manipulatives to understand the subject matter to the fullest. Learning through experience means more to them than hearing about it. 

How to support sensing students in the classroom: Find different manipulatives to allow them to hold, mold, and use while they take in the curriculum. Push them a little by challenging them to look beyond the facts and pick out different possibilities of what could be. Give them opportunities to apply what they are learning in their real, everyday lives. Push them by allowing them to engage in stress-free, theoretical conversations with peers. 

Sensing students are important to the classroom! They balance out the dreamer, intuitive types. Having a good mix of both in the classroom can bring out a great combination of facts and dreams. Conversations and manipulatives. 

Have you been able to pick out the sensing students in your classroom? How do you support their learning style, while also helping them grow by using their intuitive side? 

What We Can And Cannot Control

I know the majority of people are familiar with the graphics or the exercises where you write down two different categories. 

Things I can control. 

Things I cannot control. 

You then list out everything on one side of the things that are in your control. Your thoughts, your attitude, your opinions, your actions. 

On the other side, you write down the things you cannot control. Others opinions, thoughts, comments. The traffic, the weather, politics, etc. 

It can be very therapeutic to take some time writing these down so that we can realize what is in our control and what is out of our control. 

However, I think we oftentimes only associate these things with other adults in our lives. We are thinking about our colleagues and neighbors. However, as teachers and parents, we often do not apply this principle to our students and kids. And I know that it’s true because I also felt like I was above it all and could control my children. In fact, I felt like I had control of my children. But do I really have control over their thoughts and actions? Absolutely not. 

So what do I have then? Boundaries. Influence.

Because I cannot control my children’s actions and thoughts, I have to set clear, firm boundaries for them to act within. I have the responsibility to teach and influence them.

For example. My daughter and I often play in the front yard, but we live on a road just busy enough that she cannot ride her bike or play in the street because there are too many cars. I cannot control how my daughter moves her body, what thoughts she has on the road, or her desire to see what it’s like out there. These are all completely up to her. 

However, I can have a good influence on her by teaching her the safety of the road, letting her know what the dangers are, and setting a physical boundary for her so that she cannot cross into the road. 

I still have no control over her thoughts or actions, but I’ve taken the proper precautionary steps to keep her safe! 

The same goes for when you’re teaching in a kindergarten classroom. If a child throws a huge tantrum and starts throwing objects across the room, can you control her emotions, actions, or decisions? No. You really do not have control over those. 

Can you influence her, show support, set boundaries, and control your own actions and emotions? YES! 

I’ve been using this strategy with friends and family when unwanted and unsolicited comments arise, by reminding myself that these individuals have the right to act, think, and say what they want, but it’s my responsibility to control my own thoughts and actions in response. It was a mind-blowing revelation that it can also be applied to younger children as well! 

Yes, we do need to set boundaries and stay a good influence because that’s what a good teacher, parent, or role model does. However, it’s relieving to know that these children’s actions and thoughts are not a reflection of you. They are not your responsibility to control, they are just your responsibility to react in a professional way to guide them to safety. 

Have you had this revelation of control with your class and kids? Did it help you while teaching to have a sense of self-awareness when it comes to control? 

Teaching Intuitive Students

This post is part of a series of posts on teaching to different personality type indicators as found in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. To see more, head here

In the Myers-Briggs world, looking at personality types they look at the difference between sensing types and intuitive types. (S) sensing types are those that take on the world in a sensory, hands-on way. (N) intuitive types use their intuition to navigate the world and make decisions. Today, we are going to break down intuitive types and how we as teachers can understand them and help them in the classroom. 

Traits of intuitive students: big-picture thinkers, can love symbols or theories that may seem abstract. They often “read between the lines.” Future thinkers or dreamers, sometimes not able to follow through on these plans and dreams because they are such elaborate, radical thoughts. 

If the sensing types are your hands-on learners, the intuitive types do better sitting with information, learning all that they can on the subject, asking a lot of questions, making connections with other facts, and then internalizing the info. 

Just because a student leans towards an intuitive personality type, does not mean they cannot gain positive interactions from a sensory learning experience. They may simply just utilize the materials differently than sensory students. 

For example, if you give your 5th graders tens blocks to touch and move and manipulate as you learn division, your intuitive students may interact with the tens blocks, they may do the exercises to show division, and it may assist in their deeper knowledge of the subject. However, there is also a very good chance that they will be more distant from the materials or use them in a way to show how multiplication associates with division and vice versa. It’s important to remember that just because a student leans to intuitive thinking doesn’t mean they don’t use their sensory skills to learn. 

Intuitive students are dreamers. They can get caught up in thinking about how to improve any given situation, and their thoughts can take them so far as to come up with ideas that are not reasonable to carry out. The reality of putting these ideas into motion is not there for them. 

Intuitive students are great to have in your classroom! Have you been able to pick out the intuitive learners versus the sensory learners in your kids? 

Cover photo from pexels.com

Teaching Introverts

This post is part of a series of posts on teaching to different personality type indicators as found in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. To see more, head here. 

Today we are talking about teaching introverts! I want to be completely honest with everyone. When I wrote the post on teaching extroverts, it was mainly out of my own experience and not as much research. This post is solely based on research because I have so much extrovert in me that I did not even know where to start on how to teach introverts or what they need. So this post is based on research and conversations I’ve had with fellow introverted friends. 

A few traits of introverted students: 

They need time to sit and think about the material presented, a chance to internalize all of it. 

They cannot thrive without a break from social interactions. 

Calling on them in class or making them present information to large groups can be very stressful for them. 

Watching their participation in class or during a discussion is not a valid way to analyze their knowledge on a given subject. 

Introverted students are the quiet intellectuals. They are the students sitting in the back of the classroom seeming as if they are dozing off not paying attention or like their mind is wandering. Oftentimes when approached with questions on the material in a one-on-one manner, they may surprise you with how much they were paying attention or how knowledgeable they are with it. 

Introverts may have a hard time with social interaction, but they do well with support and in the right circumstances. Smaller groups, familiar faces, and no-pressure discussions can help them come out of their shell little by little.

The way you go about creating a personal relationship with an introverted student can make or break their time in your classroom. If you approach them whole-class with others listening and observing your interactions, it could drive them away from you, and fast. They are more likely to shut you out and have no trust after that. If you take the time to pull them aside, leave them little notes, or utilize email as communication methods, it can help them feel more comfortable and help them build trust in the relationship and in the classroom. 

From an introverted friend-

“I wish my teachers knew that I have a lot to say. I just need the right platform.”

Jade Gunther

With your introverted students in your classroom, what have you found is the best way to teach them? Leave it in the comments, we would love to hear! 

Private Schools

Let’s talk about private schools. First, what is a private school? These schools, unlike public and charter, are not funded by the government. They are independently funded, usually on tuition fees and donations from sponsors. 

Here are some facts: 

Private schools can have different purposes behind them. Such as a Montessori school, religion-specific school, a boarding school for arts or sports, a language immersion school, or a special education school. 

Since private schools do not have the same regulations under the government as public schools, their curriculum is able to be spread how and where they want. This can mean they may lack instruction in certain areas, or excel and go beyond the curriculum in other areas. 

Teachers in a private school are still held to the standard of teaching certification and background check, just like a private school. It’s common for some private schools to require higher education in their teachers, or specific training in the subject matter. 

Private schools do not have geographic boundaries like public schools, so often times private schools will have kids attending from many different towns in the area. 

Bus systems for children attending private schools are not guaranteed, therefore committing to a private school may mean committing to a commute every day to get your child to school. 

Because private schools are funded on tuition, which is an amount they set themselves, they can have more resources for the students as far as technology, special education materials, and more. 

So how do you know if a private school is for you? It’s a very personal decision! Some of these facts could be a pro for one family, while it could be a con for another family. The best way is to make an informed decision and research different types of schools to see which would be the best fit for your family! 

Has your family chosen a private school for your kids? How did you come to the decision that it was best for them?