Student Spotlight: Red

Red is a student at Quest Forward High School (QFHS) in Omaha. QFHS uses Opportunity Education’s Quest Forward Learning to empower teachers with tools and resources that encourage students to engage deeply in their learning and take ownership of their growth and success. Red is very enthusiastic about the school, and the active learning and engagement strategies used by their teachers. Check out the conversation I had with Red to get a student’s perspective on active learning techniques, including flexible pacing and student choice.

Jolene: What’s your favorite thing about being a student at QFHS? How does it compare to your prior school experience? 

Red: My favorite things about being here are the opportunities that are presented to me. I like creating in-class artifacts and being able to do different projects. QFHS is a lot different than my prior schools – it is a small community. It is a lot more focused on my overall success rather than just graduating.

Jolene: Tell me about flexible pacing in your classroom. How would you describe it?

Red: Flexible pacing is being able to stay on a subject long enough for me to understand it, or being able to move forward because I understand it. I understand math really well, so it is nice not to be stuck on a subject super long. On the other hand, I am a little slower in science so it’s nice to be able to take my time.

Red in Omaha, NE

Jolene: What is your favorite learning activity or project that you did this year in one of your core classes? 

Red: When we read Animal Farm in English class, I built a windmill and clay animal to represent the book. I took it outside and smashed it to symbolize that the windmill was a hollow representation of authority. My goal was to create a symbol and talk about how the book was a metaphor for real life.

Jolene: What skills did you practice while you were creating your project?

Red: I practiced work skills like “plan.” It took me three weeks to build it. I also practiced “explore” since I was exploring working with my hands. And I was using “create.” I analyzed the situation because a couple of times while I was building it, it fell over. That was the first time I really did a creative project. After that, I started doing more creative projects. It took building something to realize how much potential I have.

Jolene: How did people react to your project? What kind of feedback did you get?

Red: A lot of good feedback. They were really excited. My teacher liked that I did something creative and he liked that I was exercising my creative liberty in a way that benefits my future path, since I am interested in the construction industry or working with my hands when I graduate.

Jolene: Tell me more about the career paths you are considering.

Red: Building and construction – more specifically welding. I really like working with my hands. Welding is in high demand and has high pay. There is always something that needs to be built. I got interested in this through trips with the Pathways Program and some class activities. In math we applied trigonometry to measure the height of a building, and we learned about circles and Pi, which has an architecture application.

Jolene: How does the Pathways Program help you explore career options?

Red: It’s a very good opportunity for students to really see what they want to do, expand their dreams, and get opportunities to achieve their dreams. A firefighter visited during my freshman year. This stuck with me and I am interested in working in the force. A carpenter union also visited the school, and we took a trip to the Gallup offices. There was also a visit to the Kiewit Corporation this month. (A construction company in Omaha.)

Jolene: What’s the most important thing that you’ll take with you from your experience at QFHS? How will it help you with your future plans?

Red: I will take my friends. I met some good people here. And the ability to adapt and learn. Adaptability and learning are useful when coming up with a solution to a problem. If you can’t adapt and learn, you can’t solve any problem ever!

Jolene: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Red: I really appreciate this school and the opportunities it has given me. Along with the skills and applications that I will use later on in life.


Get the latest in our newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.