Finding a school for your child could be a daunting task. It has become more challenging nowadays than in previous years.This blog post seeks to reveal 5 top tips on how to choose the best school for your child in Nigeria.
Every school makes her own promise. But, how do you actually choose the best school for your child when posed with a lot of options?
Here are five critical questions to help you solve that puzzle.
A school might promise you heaven and earth but have you found out the quality of teachers they have? Many aspects of a school are very foundational and fundamental. Other aspects could be just frills. Your child is going to spend most of the time with the teachers.
You might want to ask the following:
How many students does a teacher lecture in day?
Will my child be noticeable in case there is a need for improvement?
Are the classes engaging enough?
Will I want to be in that teacher’s class?
A great teacher will possess the following:
- Friendliness and Congeniality
The most important characteristic a good teacher can have is to be friendly and congenial with his students. How many teachers did you like who were NOT friendly?
Students are always attracted to teachers with good personality because it leads to better communication, understanding, and ultimately good results.
- A Good Listener
Apart from being a good communicator, a good teacher should also have the characteristic of being an even better listener.
"If speaking is silver; then listening is gold."
Quality teachers who have the heart for student success produce great students.
Class size is one of the many things you have to consider when choosing a school for your child.
Can you imagine one teacher tutoring 50 people in a class? How effective will that be?
While it is true that class size alone does not guarantee a great education, research has shown that the lower the class size, the better it is for both the student and teacher.
According to greatschools.org, it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions about student achievement based on class size alone. In other words, strategies effective in one setting may not be equally effective in another.
Nevertheless, studies over a period of years have pointed to a number of trends as a result of lowering class size:
Gains associated with small classes generally appear when the class size is reduced to less than 20 students.
Gains associated with small classes are stronger for the early grades.
Gains are stronger for students who come from groups that are traditionally disadvantaged in education — minorities and immigrants.
Gains from class size reduction in the early grades continue for students in the upper grades. Students are less likely to be retained, more likely to stay in school and more likely to earn better grades.
So, while class size is not everything, research shows that it is worth considering making a school choice for your child.
Well rounded education seeks to furnish students with experiences that nurture aptitude in critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, etc.
Further, schools are also expected to include arts, music, and other enrichments within their curriculum.
Research has consistently demonstrated the value of spending time in enrichment activities and courses for developing these broader set of skills and interests.
A report from RAND research highlighted the considerable value in promoting underlying attributes associated with being well-prepared for life, such as creativity, persistence, and the ability to communicate and collaborate.
In the arts, for example, a study of more than 2,000 middle-school students by researchers at Columbia University found that students who had participated in at least three years of in-school arts instruction scored significantly higher on an instrument measuring creative thinking
The students self- reported much higher rates of positive attitudes towards school and learning than did their peers who had experienced less arts education.
A smaller-scale evaluation of a six-month program that involved youth in drama reported that these participants demonstrated less aggressive and violent tendencies, while also exhibiting more pro-social behaviours like cooperation and self-control compared to before participating.
If living a meaningful life means anything to you and your child, choose a school that embraces well-rounded education.
We live in a global village.
Even with this knowledge, most schools have not consciously developed a global mind set in their activities.
A global mind set can be defined as the ability to perceive and decode behaviours in multiple cultural contexts.
It is an ability to connect with people from other cultures on an intellectual as well as emotional level.
Global mind set is thus the capacity to appreciate the differences among cultures and bridge the interfaces between them.
Leaders who possess a global mind set are able to view situations from a variety of perspectives, develop trusting relationships with individuals from different contexts, and identify promising routes to successful collaboration.
Companies hire the best from anywhere in the world.
Everyone is graded equally when taking international examination for top universities in the world.
Talents and skills now have global, not just local value.
Today’s student need to be more culturally aware and educated in other to become responsible global citizens.
Do the teachers have global mind set? How the school does apply technological innovation for learning?
While it is not compulsory to go on excursion, travelling is one of the greatest way students can learn to develop a global mind set and thinking.
Find out if your child is being prepared for the local or global stage?
We all come from various socio-cultural, political and religious backgrounds. The way we were raised also dictates our value.
You would not want to compromise your value system just because of a school.
In picking a school for your child, in order not to compromise, find out what their core values are to ensure it aligns with your value system.
For example, here is the value statement of Greensprings School:
At Greensprings we endeavour to instill qualities of judgement, self-reliance, integrity and self-discipline in our students.
While we do not have a system of rigid rules, our overall Code of Conduct is based on the need to ensure the security of the students as well as consideration for others and high standards of behaviour.
Our school has no formal links to any religious denomination, though the school has always acknowledged its Christian tradition.
Children from all faiths are welcomed and supported. We believe that true faith is measured in the quality of our everyday lives, in our relationship with others, in our willingness to serve and in the power of what we practise rather than preach.
Our values celebrate the diversity of beliefs which are represented in the school.
We believe in educating the whole person, so that every student leaves the school well-equipped to achieve individual goals and with a sense of commitment, social responsibility and enthusiasm.
Our students are encouraged to think creatively and independently. The spirit of healthy competition and cooperation is encouraged through sports and other activities.
In this way, they learn about leadership and teamwork - the glory of winning and the importance of losing gracefully, yet with a determination to strive to do better next time.
Click here to see more about Greensprings School.
There you have it. Those are five critical questions to ask when making a school decision for your child.
We have over 30 years of promoting lifelong learning in an open and caring atmosphere that motivates students to be confident and responsible global citizens.