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Teaching Unique Thinkers ~ A Private School

By Casey Hoskins

There is a new option for your child’s education coming to Weiser this fall. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sierra Wilson, the founder of Teaching Unique Thinkers (TUT for short) to find out more about this new endeavor and really get to understand her Why for doing. There is a lot to share so let’s get started! 

My first question had to be what Sierra’s definition of a unique learner is. She said it is a child that thinks outside of the box and learns outside of traditional models. Thinking back to my own hurdles with my kids’ and their peculiarities when it came to learning, it made sense. For instance, one of my kiddos needs to hear everything she is being taught, while another struggles with memory issues and requires a more repetitive approach. Sierra said I was on the right track but to paint this picture with an even broader brush. 

Sierra’s Why stems around a need to have a better educational and emotional fit for her family that was closer to home. Having three kids that all learn at very different paces and in ways as unique as their adorable faces is a tough gig! Sierra understood this is a common hurdle for many parents and wanted to find a way to help. Her drive to understand her unique learners and to give them every opportunity at success drove her to start this amazing little private school.

At TUT, it is all about the conversation and rhythm between student and teacher. Learning will be self-paced and student-led met with a teacher-led curriculum in a small group setting. You might be thinking that self-paced and small-group do not go together. It does, you just have to think of it as Parallel Playing. Even as an adult I tend to be more comfortable being able to do my own thing in the company of others rather than with the company of others. Make sense?

Encouraging movement, music, and the use of non-desk settings created by Sierra and her team of experts will help these unique thinkers achieve the same goals as their peers in the traditional school setting, just in their own way. Think yoga for the older ones who need movement to allow them to breathe through a difficult task or a younger student who needs to bounce their little heart out while letting their brain process the information. This non-traditional take on education is all about offering the unique learner space and time to process at their own pace.

Every student will get a Unique Learning Plan (ULP), helping all involved determine the right path for that unique mind. The Director of Studies will sit down with parents and students alike to determine the ULP. The Unique Thinker  is all about problem solving and leading by example. We can all get bogged down by what is not going right or is not working well but we cannot stop there. The next step is to open up and look at the problem from as many angles as we can to come up with a solution(s), ultimately moving us forward. How wonderful to think that we are raising a generation of problem solvers! 

Sierra’s team consists of a Director of Studies with a Masters in Special Education. A Teacher with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a degree in Business Management, and a Child Resource who is med certified, CPR certified and also zone & regulations certified. Like I said, a team of experts! They have worked together to come up with ways that allow every child to thrive through their unique learning abilities and processes. 

The age range for this non-traditional private school is 6-16. Each age group will be placed into a 10 person group and offered multiple ways to engage and thrive. The younger ones will have the space and activities that encourage parallel playing if that is what suits them. The older ones will be encouraged to learn life skills and problem-solve in real time through a conversational setting. All group settings will have emotional zoning, space to stretch out and bounce! 

More information and an opportunity to ask questions will be available at the Meet & Greet on June 28th, at 440 State St, from 6pm – 8pm. For more information check out the Facebook page at TUT Teaching The Unique Thinker https://www.facebook.com/tutteachingtheuniquethinker

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