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The Secret to Motivating Your Child... What Every Teacher Knows.


When I talk with prospective school parents a question I’m often asked is “How can I make my child like school again?” One of the problems is that many of our public schools are no longer effective for student learning. Students may spend time at school but end up with endless hours of homework at night often having to teach themselves.

The difference is what happens at school.

It shouldn’t be so hard to attract a student’s attention...but it is. When technology provides an endless source of distractions and entertainment, how can teachers motivate students to want to learn?

When students do engage, the goal is not learning. It has evolved into what needs to be done to earn the grade... to try to pass the test... to get the diploma... to get out of school and on to the next level.

The answer holds no mystery.

Teachers are called into teaching to make a difference in student lives. Students want to be known and valued. With the right structure, the school can be the place for this to happen.

Many parents find that private schools with smaller class sizes allow time for teachers to get to know their students. The student starts to appreciate the attention and respond with more effort.

Teachers who know students:

  • Understand their learning style and can shift their instruction to meet student needs.

  • Make time for conversations about a student’s life outside of school

  • Recognize when students are being pushed in their learning and when they are holding back

  • Allow students to express their opinion while setting acceptable guardrails

  • Help guide students to develop strong character, values, and leadership skills

Students in this type of school setting begin to respond differently. It’s the old adage, “people don’t care what you know until they know how much you care”.

  • They respect their teachers who are investing heavily in their success.

  • They are inspired to work so as to not let their teacher down.

  • They honor the relationship by being attentive and giving their best.

Is this how your child views school? It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. Schools each have their own culture and approach to instruction, learning, and connection. It’s up to you to find the one that works for your child. It’s not always your neighborhood public school.

Consider what your child needs and start your research.

Here’s to a great school fit for your child and their future,

Hunter Cluthe

William & Reed Academy

Head of School

Imagine, a school designed for today’s student!

P.S. - If you have a college-bound child in grades 6 - 12 and live in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, consider adding William & Reed Academy to your list of schools. It’s located in the Alpharetta/Johns Creek area and is a great fit for today’s student who wants school to be a place where they are a valued member of the community and feel like they belong.

Hear from one of our 11th-grade students: “The way they teach at William & Reed is different. It's a teacher-student relationship rather than a teacher putting up a wall you can’t get past. They like to engage the students, they have time to do it, and they know you and help you if you don't understand. I feel like I'm learning now. It’s less work at home because we are learning more in class.”


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