The decision of where to send your children to school can have a large bearing on their future. Despite legislation like the no child left behind act that intends to give all students an equal footing, the reality is that some schools are still better than others, and provide better opportunities. If you’re wondering how you’re ever going to figure out how to choose the right school for your child, just follow the list below.
Things to Look at or Ask About:
1. Class Size
It doesn’t matter how wonderful the teachers are at a certain school if they don’t have any time to spend with their students. In general, smaller class sizes are better – though there does come a point when the classes may be too small. Classes of around ten are a rare but ideal size, as they allow enough classmates to socialize with, but also allow teachers to give the students individual attention. Unfortunately, many public schools’ class sizes have grown to as many as 20-25 students per class.
Though it is unfortunate, it’s the simple truth that a school without a music room probably won’t be teaching your child much about music. At least, not as much as a school that does provide a music room stocked with instruments. Tour the schools you are considering to get an idea of their facilities. How big are their rooms? What sorts of supplies are provided? You can even ask to see things like recreation equipment to get an idea of what will be available for your child.
3. Special Services
Don’t forget to ask about special services the school offers, such as extracurricular activities, advanced classes, and test preparation. Does the school have a band? Do they enter problem solving competitions or put on school plays? Basically, you want to know whether there will be an outlet for your child if she excels in a certain area, or whether she will be stuck learning at a slower pace.
Things to Do:
1. Sit in on a Class
If you have the opportunity, sit in on a class in the grade your child would be attending. This will give you an idea, better than anything else, of how well the teacher engages with the students and how in depth the lessons are.
2. Talk to Students
Depending on how old the pupils are, this may not be possible. If it is, though, talking to the students of a school is a good way to get an idea of the kind of education the school is actually providing. Ask questions like “What is your favorite subject and why? “Who is your favorite teacher?” and “What have you done in school that has made you the proudest?”
Contrary to the belief of politicians, test scores are not really a good indicator of how effective a school is. Evaluate class size, facilities, and opportunities in order to choose the best school for your child.