Building a sense of community is a vital element when it comes to student success. Students who attend a small school have shown to have more personal interactions during the day than those who attend larger schools. These interactions often lead to a stronger sense of identity and belonging. Studies show that when children feel that they are a valuable part of their school community, participation rates rise in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. Engagement also stimulates a sense of personal responsibility that helps students develop important leadership skills, problem-solving techniques, and teamwork ingenuity. More and more families are finding that a small school setting is the right choice for them.
Schools that offer a small student to teacher ratio provide an environment where educators have a better chance to identify the individual talents and unique needs of each student in their classroom.
Teachers who are positioned in a small class setting are also better poised to recognize and respond to various learning styles. They can encourage and enlighten their students to understand how they learn best so they can become confident self-advocating individuals.
A strong student-teacher relationship gives kids the confidence to have a voice in class and feel comfortable taking risks socially and academically. This is shown to improve their social-emotional development and ultimately increase self-confidence in an authentic way.
When students and teachers establish a strong personal bond, teachers seem to be able to address classroom issues more effectively, leading to a decrease in student conflicts on school grounds.
In smaller class settings, teachers are granted the opportunity to help students navigate failure and cope with feelings of frustration, stress, and anxiety. Students who have a safe and supportive environment when those experiences arise start to see failure in a different light. They use their experiences to identify what went wrong in the process, make changes, observe, adapt, and try again to ultimately find success through grit and determination.
Students socializing among various age groups occurs more often in a small school setting. This happens not just in a structured classroom setting, but also organically on the playground, dining hall, and in the hallways. The mixing of age groups helps all students learn from each other developing a deeper sense of respect. Older students get to enhance their leadership skills and learn how to hold themselves accountable as mentors and role models for younger students.