The Gateway America culture of learning thrives on collaboration. Here’s how our students learn to work together as part of their daily routine:
GROUP WORK & PROBLEM SOLVING
In our small classroom environment, students will plan their own lessons every week. During each academic block in the day, students may work one-on-one with teachers, but we also encourage peer mentoring and peer modeling. Students in higher grades who have already completed the coursework can be great resources for younger students. Students may also work with peers in their grade level to help each other understand the material. We also encourage peer-to-peer study to help students practice group problem solving. Studies show group work helps students learn to solve problems they may not be able to tackle on their own.
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We believe that social development is as important to our students as academic success. Gateway America encourages students to interact with each other in and out of class. Our day offers regular breaks for socialization: two 15-minute breaks and a lunch hour. During these breaks, students can go outside, chat or engage their classmates in a game of pool, basketball or ping pong.
Students will work one-on-one with mentors to set goals and plan their own academic schedule. Because our students have this ownership in their own education, the role of our teachers is to facilitate each student’s learning. Teachers are available to students throughout the day to provide instruction, encouragement and support.
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Teaching students how to collaborate with their teachers, fellow students and families prepares our students for life after graduation. Collaboration and group problem solving are widely considered among the most desirable soft skills that employers seek in their workers. This structure helps students learn other key skills, such as effective communication, teamwork and social interaction and to build strong relationships with the people around them.