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Teachers Are Mentors at Pacific Ridge School

Teenagers today are coming of age during a time of great technological innovation. While technology holds endless potential for improving our lives, it comes with significant drawbacks, especially for adolescents. Teens seek out communities online, but may be losing the opportunity to grow from deeper forms of human connection.

At Carlsbad’s Pacific Ridge School, teachers make these deep connections with their students. They are more than academic educators, they’re mentors. With an average class size of 15, an 8:1 student to teacher ratio, and robust co-curricular programming, teachers have the time and opportunity to develop strong bonds with students in grades 7 through 12.

Pacific Ridge teachers serve in multiple roles: as academic advisors, service learning facilitators, coaches, travel companions, and more. “We interact with our students in so many different ways. With the overlap between classes, clubs, sports, and travel groups, we can build really strong relationships with individual students,” said Spanish teacher Meredith Brady.

Faculty are organized into grade-level, collaborative teams that meet twice weekly to share instructional best practices, discuss ways to integrate the curriculum, and ensure that each student is challenged and supported to reach his or her potential. Also twice a week, teachers meet with small groups of students to check in and discuss academic and social issues. These advisory meetings are also about fun and bonding. Groups have potlucks, take mini field trips, and play spirited games against other advisories.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William Arthur Ward

Another opportunity for teachers to mentor students is through global travel. Each spring, over 90 percent of the student body travels domestically and internationally. Travel is a huge growth opportunity for students, who engage with different communities and cultures through academic enrichment, cultural and linguistic immersion, and service work. And their teachers are right alongside them, offering support and sharing the experience.

Great teachers can provide lifelong inspiration to students. The stronger the bond they have, the more powerful that inspiration can be.

Families interested in learning more are invited to Pacific Ridge’s Open House on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 1 p.m. To register, visit www.pacificridge.org/openhouse.