Microschools: Can They Retain Employees?

Is There A Need For A Microschool Inside Your Company?

Microschools inside your company are inspired by Elon Musk’s Ad Astra, where he built his own school for his employees’ children. How can we do that for businesses like ours? Is there really a need for these kinds of perks and benefits for our employees? And will this be the next big thing?

The job market is going crazy. Companies continue to lay off employees because of the current economic situation. Meanwhile, other companies are thriving and improving their new hires’ experiences and their employee retention. CHROs and CEOs are trying to keep up with the Great Reset. So, let’s jump into what a microschool is and how it can help in retaining and attracting employees.

What Is A Microschool?

InspirEd defines microschools simply as learning communities for kids [1]. These are small schools, with a maximum of 120 students, and they don’t separate kids by age. You can even start a microschool with ten kids. These are small community-centric schools where the classes aren’t focused on the teachers, instead, they’re focused on the kids. Teachers are coaches, not lecturers. The parents and the kids are highly involved in the curriculum. It’s an open curriculum where kids can suggest which topics they want to learn based on their skills and interests. Some call it a “learning pod”, and it is similar to homeschooling.

Characteristics Of Microschools

1. Personalized Education

Personalized education is achievable with 10–30 kids. Think of cohort-based learning for adults where it’s intense, enables more teacher attention, and where everyone can speak during discussions. The numbers are not too high to attain personalized learning.

2. Project-Based Learning

Since microschools are the modern way of teaching kids, the project-based learning approach is part of it. Kids learn how to make projects from real-world problems. This honors their problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. These skills prepare them to be the next generation’s workforce.

3. Community-Centered

Most microschools started in small communities in their areas. Everyone in the community, including the parents, the kids themselves, and the teachers, are involved in designing the curriculum. The curriculum is full of engaging activities and is iterative.

4. Socratic Dialogs

Kids are taught to be critical thinkers and to bring their thoughts to the table. Teachers adapt the Socratic dialogue method, with a focus group discussion where teachers will give a scenario or a question, and students are encouraged to discuss and debate.

Examples

There are different kinds of microschools with different curriculum models. Explore them below and see what can fit your company and your employees’ children.

  1. Brenda is a new kind of school that connects parents with caring people, called “guides”, who lead world-class microschools in their community and empower learners.
  2. MicroschoolingNV is where you can choose between a partnership microschool and an independent microschool. What are these two?
    • Partnership microschooling is a partnership between an employer, association, municipality, or other host organization and MicroschoolingNV to create an on-site, innovative microschool.
    • Individual microschooling is typically a smaller, one campus, location in a studio, home, gym, or other workspace. These groups are usually made up of 5–15 children and are often multiage.
  3. SchoolHouse matches you with the best microschool with the most qualified teachers for your child.

Lastly, now that we know the basics of microschools and some examples of them, let’s ask the most important question for your team. Do you need to build a microschool inside your company to attract and retain employees?

Do You Need A Microschool For Your Company?

Rather than setting up a microschool impulsively, let’s first distinguish if you should build it or not, with these guiding questions.

Do You Think Your Employees Will Love The Idea?

It’s important to ask for your employees’ feedback about the idea. Your current employees who have kids have different realities which include them not being open to the idea, their kids being already enrolled in a traditional school, conflicts with schedule, etc. In this case, it may not be possible to do a pilot test for now. Other questions to consider include:

  • Do you have enough resources to build it?
    Building a school requires a lot of resources. It requires manpower, budget, time, and effort to learn the building process. Discuss with your internal team if you have enough resources to pilot a microschool for your employees’ children.
  • Should you hire a microschool builder?
    Note that microschools are different from adult learning where you ask your Learning and Development (L&D) team to design the curriculum. It needs some specialty knowledge from microschool builders, or you can assign your L&D team to learn the building process. But in most cases, it’s better to hire someone specialized.
  • Are the goals aligned with your company’s goals?
    It’s a sure thing that building a microschool inside your company can attract the best candidates and retain your best employees. However, is this initiative aligning with your long-term goals for your employees’ engagement and benefits?
  • How much budget can you allot to this?
    Since it’s an additional benefit for your employees, a low tuition fee or no tuition fee at all is recommended. As a company, how much budget per employee can you allocate to this? And what will be the alternative benefit for those employees who don’t have kids?
  • What kind of learning model will you adapt?
    Do you operate hybrid, on-site, or remote? This is an important question to ask. Microschools are flexible. You can build it with a hybrid model, purely online, or on-site. It will depend on how your company operates and where your employees are based.

After considering these questions in your pilot test, let’s now see the relevance of microschools and why they might be the next big thing.

Benefits Of Having A Microschool In Your Company

Microschools are a win-win idea for you, your employees, and their kids. When you build it with care and the right resources, it can benefit everyone.

1. Better For Your Company

In reality, creating a learning environment within the company to improve the skills of employees is a must-have. Without these kinds of perks and without creating a space for your employees to grow their careers, it can lead to a massive resignation. Extending these learning perks to your employees’ kids can bring a holistic transformation to how your employees perceive your company’s values.

2. Better For Your Employees

There might be different realities for your employees, but they only have one goal as parents: to give a better education to their kids. Microschools aren’t traditional. They don’t adapt the current academic system. Because of this, providing this kind of learning opportunity to their kids will be valuable to the employees.

3. Better For Their Kids

A good learning environment is critical for kids to learn nowadays. Microschools’ curriculums hone different skillsets of the children, especially those skills that are highly valuable for the future of work. In a microschool setting, kids will be able to explore their interests, what they are good at, and develop a curious mindset. Let’s be honest, we’re in the middle of changing times. After all, we want to prepare our kids for a greater future.

Conclusion

In the near future (and even today), it’s harder to retain and attract employees. The workplace has changed drastically, and the mindset of workers has changed too. As a company, you can only survive by providing a holistic work-life balance to your workers. One way of providing this can also be to extend benefits to include their families, and one way to do that is to build a better learning environment for their kids. Microschools inside your company can be a great thing in the near future.

References:

[1] Starting a Microschool in 2021: Inspiration From Industry Experts

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