In a perfect world all classes would be taught the same way and all students would learn the same way too. However, we are not in a perfect world. Many students struggle in classes because they don’t benefit from a traditional school setting unlike their peers. According to Tesha Robinson’s article, “Reimagining Alternative Education” alternative education should be seen as a tool to help support struggling students in a positive manner.
What are some ways to improve your alternative programs? For starters correctly identify the students currently struggling in their classes and find out exactly what they need to succeed. Many students need mental health support. To help provide this give these students individual attention, social support, and even providing a smaller classroom can make the student feel more comfortable in their surroundings. Also, challenge the old ways of teaching and thinking! These students are clearly struggling with traditional methods of teaching so change up your teaching plan. Construct a plan that tests the boundaries. Ask other teachers, parents, or administrators what they would like to see in the alternative program and learn how to provide that or how to address some problems they may have. Finally, build an inviting space that will attract the students. Make the students feel welcome and part of a community in that space. You can achieve this by keeping the classroom space clean and open for activities, provide vibrant colors to stimulate creativity, and post pictures of classroom projects and activities around the room to make the class feel like a family. Students in alternative programs should not be thought of as bad learners. It should be expected by now that not all students learn the same way and they don’t need to learn the same way as others. Education should be adjusted to how a student learns in order to help their academic success.