The strongest concept does nothing without the people who embody it and bring it to life. To that end, X-School places a focus on hiring the right teachers.
What makes for good teaching staff in the new school system? The role is changing significantly. From being examiners and rulers of the grade book to lifelong learners who also get feedback and constantly develop. From lone warriors who threaten with punishment to team players who inspire and move. From pure knowledge mediators to competence-oriented coaches who actively enter into relationships and individually support and challenge each student.
To achieve this, the X-School relies on teachers who have coaching and relationship skills in addition to technical and didactic expertise. We install an advanced training system for teachers, so to say a separate school for teachers. This consists of the following:
Several weeks of assessment and onboarding
Intra-school, digital-collaborative professional development system
Semi-annual, individualized professional development opportunities that teachers can choose based on their own learning needs
Feedback loops, where they receive feedback from students
Analogous to students, each teacher also has a mentor as a contact and advisor
Teachers are constantly working at the limit in today's school system. By far, the most cited reasons for dissatisfaction and burnout in our surveys are being overworked and overburdened with administrative tasks, lack of teamwork, and a sense of futility. X-School counters this with a sense of purpose, cooperation, and bureaucratic relief in the following ways:
Fixed times for relationship work between teachers and students.
Structures that allow teachers to exchange ideas and work together (school management teams, year teams, digital network).
Bureaucratic tasks that serve the system but do not directly serve learning are handled by extra staff.
Flex Friday afternoons, when teachers have time to themselves without students. Here they discuss questions, experiences and challenges.
Individual weekly coaching for instructors during the first year of school.
The entire X-School staff is as diverse at all levels as the studentship.
Intercultural training and intersectional anti-discrimination workshops are prerequisites for all teachers.
We establish quarterly circles with parents, students, local (cultural) associations, businesses, and initiatives to ensure that constant exchange with the world outside the school gates is lived.
X-School involves experts from outside the school, social pedagogues, special pedagogues and social workers in order to meet the diversity of needs.
'Your attention is the most valuable gift you can give to another person.'- Marshall B. Rosenberg
Unleashing the potential of the school community requires proactive collaboration with families. We want them to feel a sense of belonging and value, to understand why we do what we do, and to understand how they can help. To do this, we install a school for parents that provides continuing education, communication, and participation.
In regular workshops, parents learn how to support their children in a meaningful way. What is the right way to deal with digital? What kind of learning climate can prevail at home so that it doesn't collide with what's happening at school? How can school principles be lived out at home? The training sessions are always digitally prepared and made available to all families.
In order to work together to support the children's learning journey as much as possible, we need effective communication between all parties.
Each family has a reference teacher
There are regular on- and offline consultation hours
X-Schools digital network let the family know where their children are at any given time (this gives them security and structure)
Parents, teachers and students come together quarterly for a ‘360’ (assessment and feedback in the larger group)
In one way or another, most families have a hidden treasure trove of knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, this rarely comes to fruition. The X-School gives parents the opportunity to bring their competencies into the school through projects, inputs, actions, rituals and celebrations. In this way, they feel valued, and the school becomes part of their family life. Through the parents' association and the school parliament, they have a direct influence on what happens in the school.
Psychologists and educators
Every fourth child has a learning disorder. Especially in the case of ‘high potential’ children from the lower and middle classes and those with a migration history, these are often not recognized at all or much too late. Many teachers, for example, do not see that a child has a reading disability or autism, because they automatically blame deficits on habitus and migrant status. At the same time, disorders of the mental nature are taboo in many communities (e.g., ‘I am normal, and my child is normal, too’).
As a result, many children who are actually super talented are unable to develop their potential. This is even more sad because these children often just need a simple helping hand to solve their problem in the long run.
To counteract this, we need
A strong and diverse team of special needs teachers (learning support) and school psychologists (mental support) who are specialized in intercultural work and can also communicate with the families without coming into direct conflict with the taboo. (One school psychologist per 200 students; one special education teacher per 150 students).
An effective screening system that remains in observation throughout and acts proactively.
X-School opens its doors to people who bring life experience to the school. Artists, entrepreneurs, thinkers, workers from a wide variety of backgrounds come in and out of the school. To make this possible, we set up X-Ventures, the central mission of which is to connect to real life by bringing:
Involving experts from a wide range of industries in school projects and workshops.
Allowing projects to take place in out-of-school locations.
Matching students with suitable mentors.
Arranging internships in excellent companies.
Organizing visits to top universities.
Participating in extracurricular competitions.
Bringing school projects to the market.
Promoting artistic projects.
To this end, X-School maintains a broad network of friends and supporters. From the very beginning, we will maintain an intensive exchange with schools, universities, entrepreneurs, artists, and experts of all kinds in order to provide our students with the best performance opportunities. Our goal is to have extracurricular experts coming in and out of the school every day through X-Ventures, and for the school's projects to take place in various places in the city outside the school.