Newsletter Week 2

Well, here at CIA, we are hard at work in the new semester. New semester, new students, new situations. One new situation is the welcoming of Teacher Nathan to the position of supervising the Independent Study Project at our school. We are, of course, incredibly proud of this program. We pride ourselves on providing a flexible, adaptable, and customized educational experience to our students. Part of that program is the Independent Study Project where students can propose and pursue individualized and student centered classes based on topics of their interest. Past projects have included AP physics, intense physical fitness regimes, as well as practice instruments, sports, or even business ideas. This semester, we kicked things off with a lively and informative presentation from Teacher Nathan on his expectations and the requirements for this semester’s proposals.

There were many cute pictures of animals and minions in his presentation, but do not let that distract you from its serious content. The phrase ‘detailed and specific’ was used a lot as he spent time speaking to the students about what they would need to do. It seems that he was trying to impress upon the student’s two things: this was an excellent opportunity for the students but also a serious responsibility. The grades they earned in these projects would appear on their transcripts. Good grades would attract school to the student; bad grades would reflect on their ability to organize themselves. Still, there were also many laughs as Nathan tried to keep things light with jokes, funny observations, and cute pictures.

The major theme of the presentation was the due date of the proposals required to even be able to participate in this program. The forms required were shown and how to fill them out explained. The steps required to find and apply for a mentor were explained. He even talked some about how students could locate and gain access to resources. Finally, he showed the students the coursework they would need to complete during the semester for him. This content was a series of lessons on self-organization, time management, and reflections. Students would need to also turn in a series of reports to monitor their process.

Overall, it was a slightly long and very informative presentation about student responsibility and expectations. At CIA, we are adamant in our policy to support and encourage the students to explore and discover the paths to their futures. However, it is also important to provide some guidance along the path. It seems that Teacher Nathan has taken this philosophy to heart in his development of the Individual Study Program and given students the freedom to set their own course while also providing some structure and guidance along the way. At last report, at least a half dozen projects had been submitted for Nathan’s review and we do not envy him the work. We do, however, look forward to watching the students grow, excel, and stride boldly into their futures.