This blog post was generated from the following episode of the WISE and Otherwise Podcast with Dalena Wallace. Find more at: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/wiseandotherwise
A Journey into Innovative Education with WISE
In Wichita, a new chapter in education is being written by a group of dedicated individuals who believe in the power of small-scale, personalized learning. Emmi McCabe and Dalena Wallace, members of Wichita Innovative Schools and Educators (WISE), lead this inspiring initiative. WISE, a network of microschool founders and education entrepreneurs, aims to offer diverse and innovative educational choices to families in Wichita and its surrounding areas.
The Genesis of WISE
Dalena, the president and driving force behind WISE, shares her passion for the community they've built. Unlike traditional educational systems, WISE thrives on collaboration over competition, fostering a supportive environment where each member's success is celebrated. This unique approach has led to a rich tapestry of educational opportunities, catering to a diverse array of needs and learning styles.
What Exactly is a Microschool?
For those unfamiliar, microschools are a fresh take on education, focusing on small-scale, community-based learning environments. These schools can range from hybrid models to full-time institutions, and they might align with various educational philosophies, including faith-based or secular approaches. The beauty of microschools lies in their flexibility and independence, allowing each to cater uniquely to its community's needs.
WISE's Mission and Activities
WISE functions as a vibrant hub for these innovative educators, organizing monthly meet-ups, workshops, and a dynamic online community. By visiting each other's schools and sharing resources, members of WISE continuously learn from one another, fostering a rich environment of growth and collaboration.
The Diversity and Impact of Wichita's Microschools
Wichita's microschools are as varied as they are impactful. From small, intimate settings of just five students to larger schools with over a hundred, each offers something unique. Some focus on play and nature, others cater to neurodiverse children, and many prioritize family involvement and community building. This variety ensures that families in Wichita have access to education that resonates with their values and meets their specific needs.
The Role of Parents and Community in Microschools
A significant advantage of microschools is the active role parents can play. Reduced bureaucracy means parents have a more substantial voice in their children's education, leading to more tailored and effective learning experiences. This aspect is especially cherished in the Wichita microschool community.
WISE: More Than Just Education
WISE is not only about education; it's about empowering its members. Many, like Emmi and Dalena, start as homeschool parents or disillusioned traditional educators looking for more. As they evolve into microschool founders or education entrepreneurs, they find a supportive community in WISE that helps them grow and thrive.
Conclusion: A Call to Action
If you're in Wichita and intrigued by the concept of microschools or innovative education, WISE invites you to explore this exciting world. Whether you're an educator, parent, or simply someone passionate about education, there's a place for you in this dynamic, evolving community.