October 11, 2018
Finding a School That Works
Most of us are now entering the second month of the new academic year. Perhaps you find yourself in the situation that I was in a few years ago, “it is not working!” If so, panic sets in on why it's not working and, “what do I do now?” Take a deep breath, I will go over a few points to consider that may help you out and place your child in a better school.
How do I know my child’s school is right for them?
Student interest in school comes and goes but a lack of academic growth over a period of time can be a symptom of a disengaged student who is not connecting with their teacher and peers. Perhaps your child's disconnect with the school is a teacher's lack of knowledge of who your child is and what makes them thrive. On the other hand, students who connect on an emotional and personal level with their teachers and their academic progress continually grows will work harder. They might engage in more conversation about their day and friends.
What should my school be doing for my child?
The primary duty of any school is to teach the students in the best way possible and the resources at hand. It should not be complicated and hard, yet it is. Other forces take precedent like unions, administration, faulty trends, and burnt-out teachers in an overcrowd school. Nevertheless, your school should have great and caring teachers who are setting high attainable expectations. They should have a great curriculum where teaches engages the students and there should be good prompt communication between a teacher and a parent. If your school does not have this or the willingness and resources to inspire and give the atmosphere for your child to excel, then you need to look elsewhere.
- Do you have a good engaging teacher? The biggest factor that makes a great school is teacher quality. Teachers who give positive attention and have the ability to connect and inspire with each student.
- Is there a good curriculum that your child can understand and work through? If there are no good quality learning opportunities within the curriculum then your child might not grow academically.
- As a parent, you should feel at home and heard. There should be ample communication from the school from student progress to what is going on in the world. If your questions are not be answered then there may be a problem.
How are the teachers treated? By the administration, parents, and students. If a teacher feels assaulted like an enemy in their own work environment, they will not bring their A game; that is just human nature. While supporting teachers and having students who are more respectful and eager to learn craft a better more contagious learning environment.
Having fought and struggled with public school and had a great experience at a private for a year, a mediocre second year with an unqualified teacher and then a horrible third year, because of a bad teacher, I rode that wild ride of a school not being a fit. I found a solution. I enrolled my son in a top-quality charter school and a virtual homeschool; we found this approach to be best for my family. We found that Method Schools combines the best teachers with project-based learning, STEM, and a customizable curriculum that is tailored to each student’s level and progress.
So, if your child is not being cared for or is not even known at their school; then, try to get involved and fix it, or better yet, jump ship. This is what I should have done earlier.
Dr. Richard Krejcir is an Author, Researcher and the Director of a nonprofit that does educational training in third-world countries. He is also a Homeschool Coordinator at Method Schools and an instructor in a STEM program and a father of a son with autism.