Choosing a Good SchoolbyPrincessErin©
One of the most important decisions a parent can make for their child is: what school to send them to. Choosing a good school for your child can set them up for success. Sending your child to a school that does not meet their needs will surely create a disastrous situation. There are three main things that should be taken into account when choosing a school for your child. The first is the location of the school. The second is what the teacher's and the school's philosophy of education is. Lastly, programs and extracurricular activities play an important part in finding the best school.
Location, location, location. These words are used in real estate, but are pertinent when discussing schools as well. Where a school is located is extremely important to the overall success of your child. The school should be located in a good area of town and be surrounded by residential houses and parks. The school should not be in a downtown location or in an area with a lot of traffic. Safety for your child is a top priority and the community surrounding the school is what makes the school what it is. You also want the school to be close enough to your home. Having a long bus ride to and from school is detrimental to a student's success. The longer they are on the bus in the morning, the earlier they have to wake up. Some kindergarten students are required to be awake at six in the morning to get to school on time. Having a school close to your home also creates a familiar group of friends for your child since children from the neighborhood will go to school together. If the school is close to your home you will be more likely to participate in the school community, which will, in turn, help your child become an active member of the school community.
The teacher is the person your child will have the most contact with every day of the school year. Classroom teachers should have a philosophy of education and be willing to share it with prospective students and parents. Some teachers have very specific philosophies that outline how they deal with discipline as well as their teaching styles. A teacher should have varied methods of teaching and be skilled in differential instruction. A teacher should also explain their expectations for their students and these expectations should be appropriate for the age of the students. Their philosophy of education should fit with the values you have in the home. If a teacher's way of disciplining is the complete opposite of how you discipline at home, there will be constant conflict and this will confuse the student. Students need consistency and if there is seamless instruction from the home to the school and vice versa, there is a higher chance of success. If these values are not the same, then you need to find a new teacher or school. Some schools allow you to choose which teacher you have and if your school is large there might be more than one class of each grade.
In finding the best school for your child, you should also look at the school philosophy and what programs the school offers. Does it offer French as a second language or Spanish as a second language? Does it offer gifted or enrichment programs. Knowing what programs the school offers is a good way of identifying whether the school fits with your and your child's needs and wants. The principal should also have a philosophy of education and be willing to share this with you. They should be able to tell you how they deal with discipline on a school wide basis. They should also be able to tell you how they motivate their staff and what plans he or she has for professional development. A principal is the manager of the school and a well-managed school produces well-educated students.
School doesn't just mean the teaching that goes on in the classroom. Activities that occur both before and after school are just as important. Extracurricular activities should be varied enough to encourage the development of all children. At the same time, the activities should be well organized to make sure that students who participate get the most out of those activities. A school that has a lot of sports, but not a lot of intellectual clubs would be great if your child is active, but not so great if your child is more interested in the arts. A school should offer a range of activities and your child should be given the opportunity to participate in the activities he or she wants to do.
If you are able to choose the school that your child goes to, this is a great beginning point to making sure that your child gets the best education that they can. In simplistic terms you want to make sure that the school fits with your child's needs. You know your child the best and you know what they need to strive in the public education system.
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