When I reminisce back to my best memories from Elementary, Middle and High school, most of them are experiences shared with friends. Of course, I remember the academics and learning different skills but for most of us we think back to social interactions and friendships we made.
Over the past three years at Manchester Prep we have focused on developing strong relationships among our students in hopes that many wonderful memories will be created. Our formula for making Manchester Prep a successful and exciting place to be begins with the bonds that students form with their peers.
One of our strengths as a program is the importance we place on collaborative work. The best type of learning occurs when classmates work together and master concepts as a team. It is an invaluable component of our program.
When I was in Kindergarten our school had a program where each Kindergartener was “buddied” up with a 5th grader in the school. We had the chance to eat lunch with our buddy, do a monthly learning activity and enjoy a recess together. Those memories are highlights of my elementary school years.
As our program has grown we have stressed the importance of peer mentoring. Just recently one of our High School students was helping our middle school students with their social studies project. These types of interactions are equally as meaningful as any social studies unit being learned. Very frequently we have our Columbian or Argentinian students tutor and teach other students who are just learning Spanish. How awesome it is to have them as resources in our classroom each day? And to reciprocate, our English speaking students help them to speak English more fluently. This type of collaborative learning is what makes our classroom so special.
Our goal at Manchester Prep is to help each student reach their goals academically and socially. Our students’ academics are easily measured and assessed. We can look at grades and read papers to evaluate a student’s understanding of a subject. We can also look around the classroom and see our students working together in multi age groups and feel confident that they are growing socially as well as academically here at Manchester Prep.
So come take a walk over and visit us at Manchester Prep! There is never a dull moment, and it’s always a good day!
Written By: Claudine Prokopis
Director of Manchester Prep