Parenting starts with making the right decisions for your child. And choosing the right school can be one of the most daunting yet crucial decisions any first-time parent has to take. With the addition of hybrid learning facilities and tech-enabled classrooms, robotics and coding etc., school education has transformed rapidly in the past decade, leaving parents overwhelmed with a plethora of choices and areas to consider.
However, in the end, the search is to look for an institute with a value-driven approach and focus on creating a nurturing, stimulating, and holistic learning experience, for children, with equal focus on activity and experience-based learning, which is vital.
Listed here are 5 key factors that parents should look for while selecting a school that will be instrumental in shaping the future of their children.
- School Leadership:
School leadership is generally a subject that most parents don’t pay a lot of attention to, as it is mostly considered to be just the name or face, giving more importance to the amenities and the curriculum. However, school leadership is vital as they embody the learning philosophy and value systems that will eventually be passed on in the daily learning experience of the child and also reflect in the overall learning environment. Right from the chairperson and directors to the principal, HOD’s and veteran teachers, school leadership forms the backbone of the school and contributes to the creation of a safe and nurturing environment for the students, across age groups. Understanding the approach of the school leadership towards learning and the development of the students, can be insightful and give a peek into how the teachers and support staff would interact with children. In addition to this, their mutual understanding of responsibility towards students can make a huge difference. Both can utilize years of educational expertise as well as management prowess to create the best student learning experience.
- Teacher Development and Training:
With the fast pace of transformation in teaching techniques and the rise of technology in education, it is important for teachers also to be well aware and trained, to be able to fully leverage these new methodologies and more importantly, use them effectively to facilitate better learning. Teacher development and training programs incorporate the latest in learning science, which helps to brainstorm ideas among teachers for a specific subject. Understanding key emerging tech solutions data analytics helps teachers to further develop an insightful understanding of each student and thus help them learn better. Schools that understand this, invest in continuous learning and up skilling of their teachers, regularly. When looking for a school, it is important to understand how much and how much the school management invest in their teachers.
- Learning Environment in the School:
A safe, nurturing and stimulating learning environment should be the top priority when selecting a school. While creating that environment, teachers must become inclusive mentors who cater to a variety of students. A good learning environment allows teachers to cater to the needs of students who are either gifted or facing difficulties. Apart from that, open spaces and well-lit and ventilated classrooms, clean and hygienic common spaces, breathable school campuses have proven to facilitate ideas and positive thinking.
- Parent Partnership:
This is a vital aspect for parents when selecting a school as the nature of parent engagement says a lot about the school’s approach to not only educating students but also committing to their overall growth and development. Ideal school-parent relationships work as complementary partnerships, where parents can share recommendations and work closely with teachers to address certain concerns while schools can share feedback on the child’s development and how parents can provide the additional support at home. While most of the academic and social learning happens in schools, parents and the home environment also plays a vital role in the overall personality of the students. A school which understands that real learning and development of a child is incomplete without the involvement of the parents, can enhance the quality of holistic learning and development for the child.
- Data Analysis:
Technology has by now become an intrinsic part of the modern education system and data analytics has proven to be a major enabler in facilitating learning techniques for different types of students. Effective use of Data Analytics can help teachers to identify learning patterns/ needs, if any, early on and then successfully work around them to ensure every student can learn and cope. High-performing schools utilize data analysis to track progress in learning outcomes, gatheand anaylse data that allows them to quickly and effectively adapt to whatever the unique needs of a particular class or child is.
With the right learning partner for a child, education can become a fun learning experience for both parents and children. A good school with effective teachers can go a long way in not only shaping the future of the child but also in ensuring that the growing years of the child are rich in positive experiences, and inspiration and involve a fun-filled, shared experience for the parents as well. The above five points will help you to find the best school which will help create memorable and inspiring experiences for the child in the formative years.
This blog appeared as an article in The Times Of India, dated 15th June, 2022
(This article is written by Rohan Parikh, Chairperson of The Green Acres Academy on The Times Of India)