By Kimberley Harris
After serving as a teacher for the past 14 years within the private school arena, the opportunity to embark on a new teaching venture with KnILE Prep Academy and Iron Cross Gymnastics in 2015 was exciting. I knew my teaching assignment would be a bit unique and different this time around for a few obvious reasons. First, my student population consisted of competitive gymnasts. Second, my students were all different grade levels (third through ninth grade), working off of, one of two different curricula. Third, all students work in an online environment with lap-top computers and headphones, in the same classroom, on a daily basis. And fourth, time management on both my part, as the teacher and the students’ was a priority, due to the demands of a rigorous gymnastics practice schedule. Despite these differences, I was eager to take on this new challenge and I believed KnILE Prep Academy would generally be like any other private school that I worked for, or so I thought.
As the school year progressed, I began to realize that even within my specialized student population, there were learning differences, much like that within the traditional classroom setting. Learning differences however, were approached and handled quite differently than those in private and public school settings. For example, when a learning challenge is discovered, the student is given the opportunity to receive additional tools and strategies that will assist them in reaching their fullest potential not only in school, but also in life. This concept allows the student to meet their specific needs for success, while still maintaining state core requirements. Likewise, if a student needed more of a challenge academically, the opportunity was available and encouraged. As both a teacher and parent (of a former competitive gymnast), I have personally witnessed this outcome, and I know that this approach enables students to feel confident and successful about their educational career (no matter what learning, subject, or assignment challenge they may encounter). KnILE offers students new ways of learning, without limitations, thereby eliminating a sense of dreadfulness or boredom about school. A student’s confidence in his or her own abilities, along with confidence in their school can go a long way, and is an essential ingredient in the development of a successful student. KnILE Prep Academy strives to accomplish this goal for each and every one of its students because this is the KnILE way!