At Boys’ Latin, they know that students learn best when learning takes place in an environment of trust and collaboration. The school is small by design — creating an opportunity for every boy to be truly known. Teachers invest in every student, tailoring instruction, creating trust and fostering respect along the way.
It’s a personalized academic approach that makes their students’ experiences anything but standard.
“We’re not the only school in Baltimore with small class sizes. It’s what we do with our classes that sets us apart,” said Head of Lower School, Greg Schnitzlein. “I encounter parents every year who yearn to send their son to a school where they are known and understood. At Boys’ Latin, we place an intentional focus on developing connections with all of our boys inside and outside the classroom.”
In their book, Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys, authors Michael Reichart and Richard Hawley write: “Boys experience their teachers before they experience the lessons they teach.” This philosophy guides all educational practices at Boys’ Latin. The staff is focused wholeheartedly on their students, engaging them daily as individual learners.
“By focusing on boys and maintaining the discipline to keep our class sizes small, we are able to intentionally connect with each student,” said Mr. Schnitzlein. Teachers take the time to find out how their boys learn best and work to connect with families on an academic and personal level. Teachers know what their students are interested in and how they spend their time outside of school. The goal? To have authentic conversations with students about how they learn best, and how to help them excel.
“That is the difference between small classes and utilizing those class sizes to best understand each boy,” said Mr. Schnitzlein. “Here at Boys’ Latin we often say we know boys, and while that is true, what we mean is that we know your boy.”
Ultimately, that translates to flexible instruction, while ensuring that boys develop critical skills that are so important today, like collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving.
“What I love about Boys’ Latin is the mindset of meeting boys where they are,” said teacher Brooke Berman. “As teachers, we have the flexibility to structure our lessons to suit the needs of our students. I have never taught the same lesson twice because each group of students presents a different learning profile.”
She loves that she has the freedom to change her approach, try something out of the box, or teach things in a different sequence depending on what her students need. Their personalized approach to learning allows them to meet the needs of each boy, including the strongest learners who need extra challenges.
“We not only have the administrative support to make these changes, but we have incredible resources to supplement instruction,” said Brooke.
First grade teacher Ann Jung echoed her sentiments.
“The personal connections we make help us better understand one another. With better understanding and connection comes a better environment, a better community, and the best experience possible–for all of us,” said Ms. Jung. “It’s a truly special place to be.”
To find out more about Boys Latin and their personalized approach to learning, visit their website.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of our School Spotlight Series. Each week, we will spotlight one of our partner schools to give you a glimpse into what learning looks like on their campus. To learn more about Boys’ Latin, visit their directory listing in our Independent School Directory. Want to become a school partner? Email us.