As we prepare to move into our new space, it’s interesting to have conversations with contractors, realtors, etc. about who we are and what we do. “So you’re a private school?” “So it’s like Montessori?” “You can do what?! How does my kid get in?”
It’s tough to explain that we’re not just one thing but it’s the beautiful part of who we are and why others can use a similar language, but won’t truly be able to replicate what we do.
Stereotypes are often associated with different types of schools.
For example, with private schools comes the idea of being exposed to higher level content or some see it as a rigid environment that promotes high levels of unnecessary stress.
Homeschooling is sometimes associated with kids who understand how to navigate their world better or some see it as having lower academic expectations.
Obviously, these stereotypes are not all-encompassing and like all stereotypes, not always accurate. But what we’ve come to see is a pattern with the parents that we’re speaking with, no matter the prior experience, there are certain factors are preventing their children from reaching their fullest potential.
At Indi-ED, we gladly do not fit into one specific category.
Because of this, we get to provide the right balance of what works best for students.
We get to set high levels of relevant expectations for our students, but keep class sizes small so that we can support their genuine growth.
We get to plan our curriculum by beginning with what the students need, instead of only what the state mandates.
We get to have flexibility by slowing down/speeding up, getting rid of things or by starting fresh.
We truly get to design instruction to meet our students’ needs, instead of just saying we do.
Attending to the label vs. the kids themselves is where schools of any kind start running into problems.
So for us, it’s just not about the title.
It’s not about a big, shiny new building or the supplies that sit on the shelf untouched. We could teach our values in a cardboard box if necessary.
It’s not about focusing our curriculum only on STEM or technology, or a certain set of fundamentals simply because they’re trendy. We believe all children deserve the opportunity and exposure.
And we certainly don’t believe that by taking away from other children to benefit our own is the path to the greatest success.
It is about balance for us – in everything.
Each day looks differently because our students’ needs change. Each interaction with our families look differently because their goals change. Each year will look differently because we will consistently reflect and improve.
In life, we need often need to be reminded of how to balance in order to enjoy the life we’ve created for ourselves.
At Indi-ED it is about doing everything in our power to provide a school aimed at creating well-rounded, empowered, and successful individuals. Which does not equate to an all or nothing mentality day in and day out.
So, while people are searching for better opportunities for their children, we will consistently keep balancing the benefits of all approaches and know that the right people will continue to surround us.
Because like Meghan Trainor says, “You know we’re all about that b…alance, ’bout that balance, no troubles.” (Or something like that.)