With the installation of the New Education System (NES) at 85 HISD campuses came the introduction of an innovative method for introducing K-8 students to all new subjects and activities that they may never experience otherwise: Dyad classes.
Dyad is a term that Merriam-Webster defines as “two individuals maintaining a sociological significant relationship”—but the impact of Dyad courses spans far beyond the student and their teacher. Dyad courses are taught by community members who are experts in their given fields and provide students with enriching lessons simulating real-world experiences while connecting them to the communities that make up their neighborhoods and beyond.
The Dyad model is based on three principles of learning: knowledge, experience, and perspective. By learning from working professionals, students benefit from the unique perspective of their instructors and gain exclusive knowledge of their chosen field of study made available to them through hands-on experiences.
The Dyad classes offered differ by campus and include such subjects as gardening, photography, cosmetology, sewing, and more. Campus administrators worked with Dyad coordinators to gauge the interests of the students as well as the types of professionals within their communities with a unique skillset to share.
Edison Middle School Dyad Coordinator Vanessa Vasquez worked with Principal Johnatan Guzman and his administrative team to build a well-rounded selection of Dyad courses for their students.
“They’re very unique subjects that a lot of them won’t be able to experience for themselves until they’re adults,” said Guzman. “These are not your typical types of classes that they’ll have in any campus level. Being able to bring these experiences to Edison is super unique and super exciting for the students.”
One of the Dyad courses that Edison students were most excited about is the barbering class taught by Ryan Taylor, owner and operator of East End Barber, a well-known barbershop in the Edison area. Taylor, a father himself, is passionate about the impact that community instructors can have on young scholars.
“They’re learning how to interact with people in the real world. We do some haircut work, but mostly we talk about consultations, how to present yourself, how to open your own business, how to be respectful so you get respect back, things like that,” Taylor said. “I feel like it’s important for students to realize that there are options out there. Learning how to get licensed so you can cut hair, do that for the rest of your life and open your own business, or cut hair while you’re going through a four-year university, or further than that, and realizing that there’s a world of options out there for you.”
Dyad specialty classes are chosen specifically to present students with opportunities for experimental, hands-on learning and to prepare them to lead the workforce of 2035 in a variety of high-demand competencies. To learn more about Dyad classes or to apply to become a Dyad consultant, visit the Dyad webpage.