Matching School, Teaching, Makes a Difference

Apr 11, 2017

Every student has specific and personal learning needs. Some students prefer one-on-one attention, some work better as a whole class. Some work better in a quiet environment, while others prefer to have it more hectic. Unlike most students, I got to choose what high school I would go to, and I picked the one with the teaching style that would best match how I learn.

I also chose Oceanside because of the friends I have made who attend this school, and because I've grown up in the RSU 13 district. In January, the eighth graders from Saint George shadowed us to determine where they wanted to go to school, and that has helped me become more aware of my own school environment.

Students who live in Saint George, my town, have a choice of five high schools: Oceanside, Camden, Watershed, Lincoln Academy, and Medomak. When the students shadowed us, they got to take a look into what freshman classes look like for us at Oceanside. Having a choice of high schools opens up to students specific creative processes, and gives them control over what and how they will be able to learn. And having someone to answer questions and introduce them to teachers was both beneficial for them and for me. I got to see what type of students they were, and they got to see what Oceanside has to offer for them to learn.

Having been given the choice of what high school to attend, I felt really good about where I'd be going. I knew from the start I'd be attending Oceanside, but seeing that I had other places to choose from put me at ease, and helped me to realize there's more people out to help me. Each school offered very different things, and I chose Oceanside because all of my closest friends go to school here, and because I've grown up in the district the school is in.

But there is more to my choice than being with friends. As a student who personally works better in certain environments and with certain people around, going to Oceanside has let me work and learn in a way that is efficient and good for me. I tend to work better in an environment that where I can talk to my peers rather than just sit silently for an entire class period.

I have friends who chose different schools for different reasons as well. Maybe their friend went there or was going to attend there, or their parents knew the teachers and they felt more comfortable with the adults teaching there.

All in all, having a choice of which high school you get to go to is a privilege not many people have. Being able to suit your own specific learning ways by choosing your school is not only helpful for students in their high school years, but also in their college and career prep days. And, being able to put a good school name on my resume will be helpful both in my job and future in general.

Kiras Tavernakis lives in St. George and attends Oceanside High School.