Saturday, February 6, 2016

Married at First Sight & virtual schools

FYI has a fascinating program called Married at First Sight. Three couples are matched by so-called experts and they agree to marry on the day they first meet their spouse. Then they have six weeks to determine whether or not they are committed to the marriage, to each other, and to the future -- or, they can get a divorce.

This program is a fascinating study of the struggle between expectations and reality.

Each one of the individuals brings expectations to this experience, to this marriage with them. Then, they are faced with the reality presented to them and what unfolds is an ongoing study in each's ability to adapt (or not to adapt).

You can see where I am going with this one right -- virtual schools, in a similar way, are also studies in the struggles that occur between expectations and reality.

Parents enroll in virtual schools with certain expectations, and then reality hits. After that, it is an ongoing study of whether or not they can adapt to this new reality, or will they seek a divorce. (I find it interesting in that with virtual school parents they also typically leave within a six-week window)

The difference between the two (or the one that matters here) is that virtual schools have the ability to help parents manage those expectations long before they commit to this new relationship. The message, the marketing, the conversations with enrollment consultants and teachers, and the follow-up are all ways in which we can help parents enter into the relationship with expectations better matching reality. Or, we can work hard to help reality match expectations -- either way, the start is better.

Virtual schools must work harder during the courtship period to take the blinder off of parents and help them see clearly - - even if it means some parents never reach the altar.

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