Teach to One: Educating the Children of Military Families Through a Personalized Approach
For families with school-aged children, providing a successful, fruitful, and meaningful educational experience is a key aspect of raising children. From showcasing report cards on time, energy, and commitment of entire families. However, for many military families, certain outlying circumstances exist that can alter the learning experience, social engagement, and overall comprehension. From frequent relocation to dealing with the deployment of primary caretakers, the children of military families face special circumstances that can render their experience vastly different from their non-military counterparts.
At Teach to One, our staff has the privilege of working alongside participating schools with high populations of students hailing from military families. These extensive partnerships have highlighted the power of the Teach to One methodology, which is focused on individualized learning. Our program sees to the unique needs of these students, and we’re fully committed to providing exceptional educational opportunities to the children of military families. They have the opportunity to engage in educational lessons based on their individual comprehension level. This approach increases their educational growth, yielding extensive knowledge that can be applied in future educational endeavors.
In Illinois’ North Chicago, we have had the privilege of working with students from LEARN 6 and LEARN 10, two schools that educate a large population of students from military families. Within both of these partnerships, we have communicated closely with school leaders, community personnel, and other committed educators to examine how military involvement can shape the learning experience for students and to utilize this knowledge to maximize the learning potential of every student.
Located directly on the Great Lakes Naval Station, LEARN 6 Charter School consistently considers the needs of military-family students and generates programming based around these unique needs. Samantha Martin, Math Director for the school, has commented, “For our school culture as a whole, I would say the biggest impact is the amount of turnover in our students.” This turnover refers to the students who must often relocate to new schools throughout the academic year, resulting in an inconsistency in learning. With different schools offering vastly different lesson paths, it can sometimes be difficult for these students to immediately jump into wherever their new classmates have already been focusing. This inability to simply jump in with clarity and comprehension is further exacerbated by the cumulative nature of mathematical understanding. Without fully grasping an initial concept, students cannot build upon that simple concept and truly understand more complex topics.
For students who experience multiple relocations, this educational instability can yield large gaps in comprehension, which only continue to grow as the lessons continue. With limited resources, many schools simply cannot devote the personalized resources to effectively teach a mid-year entry student the skills needed to continue to build upon the newly formed solid foundation. To effectively teach students who can be at wildly different stages of learning, creating an environment conducive to individualized and customized learning is needed.
To help solve this issue, LEARN 6 and LEARN 10 partnered with Teach to One to provide comprehensive individualized learning plans that meet the unique criteria of students entering classrooms mid-year. Educators can now harness the potential of each student, independent of any outside forces that may have inhibited the student in a traditional classroom setting. Since the program is individualized from day one, new students entering the classroom are assessed immediately and are given appropriate lessons based on their real-time comprehension levels. These lessons are continuously monitored and altered to meet the needs of the student. By accurately placing students on the right track to accelerate learning based on individual learning styles and comprehension levels, these students can maximize their learning without falling behind due to disruptions in education.
LEARN 6’s Samantha Martin has shared a recent and pertinent real-world example that illustrates the transformative power of our customized learning platform. After welcoming a new student in the 7th-grade classroom from a military-family background, the student fell into the 54th-percentile for math comprehension. However, with Teach to One, the new student mastered the concepts of his initial fall semester at the school. When he saw the positive results, the student became driven to succeed and supplemented his in-class studies with at-home studies. In the span of a few short months, the student placed in the 87th-percentile by the following January. According to Martin, “His success in the math classroom was jump-started by Teach to One, which allowed him to tackle his gaps one at a time, on his own time, in a way a traditional classroom never could.”
Throughout a fruitful six-year partnership, the educators and support staff at LEARN 6 and LEARN 10 have witnessed similar outcomes for countless students. For the educators who are committed to the success of these students, focusing on individualized learning is integral to providing personalized attention, effective learning modules, and the ability to “catch up” at all stages of the math education trajectory. For military families, constant sacrifices are made as a result of their decision to serve the very country that will educate the family’s school-aged children. For us at Teach to One, it’s a great privilege to play a part in the effective education of military-family students and to encourage these students to recognize their potential, soar to new heights, and capture their destiny through ongoing education.
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