Choosing a school: where to enter the 5th grade
If your child is in 4th grade, you may very well be looking for a new school for him for the next school year. Especially if the elementary school was close to home, and the quality of teaching in high school is not very convenient for you. Looking for a new place to study, do you collect reviews about schools and go to open days? Here's what to look for when choosing a school.
If the school smells the same way as before, can we believe in its modern character? Already at the entrance, parents struck the familiar smell of chalk, old sneakers and cheap cleaning products in the nose. He did not always evoke pleasant memories of his own school years.
It is because of such memories that parents came here: they wanted the best for their child. And this, of course, depended on which high school they chose for him. If they make the wrong decision, the child will, perhaps, suffer in boring lessons from unjust teachers and from classmates who are socially alien to him. As a result, their child will have bad grades, he will not be able to continue his studies where he would like, will be disappointed because of unloved work, because of this he will be unhappy in marriage and will also receive too small a pension. And this is even if everything passes tolerably well.
Parents had this impression when they communicated with other moms and dads in elementary school. Those in the third grade went to the open doors to secondary schools and made detailed lists of their strengths and weaknesses.
And now the parents, holding their fourth-grader by the hand, came to the first of the three schools, whose open doors they decided to visit, and smelled the smell of the school. They prepared well, studied the pedagogical concept of these institutions. Their son asked his friends what school they wanted to go to.
The school met them with a well-thought-out program for all participants: rows of chairs were set up for parents in the gym, half of all teachers sat on an elevation, showing to their parents that they should not make premature conclusions.
Children did not need to be bored for an hour and a half next to their parents. A separate program was prepared for them: they conducted a tour of the school. “Here is our buffet. And here is a typical classroom. There is a drum kit in the music room (for this reason it was lit up and pulled out in the middle of the room). But the climbing platform, here you can practice in your free time. ” The children were delighted.
It was impossible, however, to say the same about the parents. They sat in the gym and for the sake of their children asked critical questions. Is it possible that children are being bullied at school? Can anyone just take and enter the building? What is being done to alleviate stress when preparing for exams? What do children give for lunch?
The school director tried his best and answered all possible (“No, we have not a large staff turnover, recently all replacements occurred only if the teachers went on maternity leave”) and even impossible questions (“I suppose we shouldn’t discuss how many foreign children go to our school, but I think about 15%. ”) The teachers nodded and clearly breathed with relief when the director announced the performance of a ninth-graders dance ensemble: “You have to make sure that we are not only learning the program.”
“And now we want you to get to know our school even better,” the director announced. Several dozen parents, who seemed to be several hundred, passed through the hall of the school and stopped at the entrance to the model classroom. “As if we were buying an apartment,” murmured the father.
The mother tried, standing in a crowd, to inspect the classroom walls filled with the benevolent atmosphere, which were hung with creative works of more or less capable children. Son already convinced: buffet! Drum kit! Rock climbing! Parents have not yet been so confident in their decision.
Still, they had to see two more schools. One of them did not make an impression on her son: there is no drum set here! The walls of the buffet were clearly visible dried spray Coca-Cola. And besides, his friends did not want to come here either.
Another school looked more promising, it had a reputation, it was considered the best school in the district. And if two other schools invited students to themselves, then this was the opposite. Before the parents, who were offered to come here without children, only the headmistress spoke. She very clearly explained that only certain children are suitable for this school: eager to study, efficient, and, of course, well educated.
That evening, the parents, to the great joy of their son, decided to send him to the first school. Of course, they did not want to interfere with his ascent. And I would like it to rise not only on the climbing platform.
We collect information about teachers
We know from experience: even in a good school, not all teachers meet the high requirements, the teaching staff is a motley random mix of more or less likeable and competent characters. This can not be prevented - but it is not so bad.
After all, children learn in school, including getting along with a variety of people with their own characteristics. In addition, children like different types of teachers: to one student his teacher seems too strict, while for others his intractability creates the framework necessary for studying.
A mother and father get a first impression about the teaching staff when they hear the opinions of other parents - but these reviews should be only one factor influencing the choice of school. Who knows if your requests coincide with those of those you ask?
Open Day: what questions to ask
How can parents glimpse the brilliant façade of the school, which, during the open day, seeks to show itself in the best possible way? It is necessary to ask the right questions: for example, what percentage of former fifth graders in the past year reached the tenth grade? In a school where, in six years, half of the students left, they most likely do not work well with weak children. Perhaps teachers prefer to screen out instead of developing?
It is always interesting to ask a question about the drug situation. Parents should be very tense if they don’t receive any detailed answer, or if the school’s management simply declares: “Drugs? We have no such problem in school! ” But there is no such school that could stop the spread of youth culture, and, moreover, there are always problems with ordinary smoking and alcohol consumption.
Another important question concerns what means are used to prevent violence. Here it is necessary to act the same way as with the question of drugs: there are no such schools where the use of force would not occur in relations between students and, unfortunately, between teachers and students.
Do you need a strong school
Many schools are proud of the good results of the final exams, but absolute numbers can not say anything about how the weaker students will be supported here. If parents begin to rely only on dry facts, their children can end up in school, where they will constantly be under great pressure - and regular dropouts can be destructive to the self-esteem of many students.
It doesn’t matter whether they are directly confronted with it or only indirectly: if a classroom is in a bad situation and friends are expelled from school, many children begin to fear that the same may happen to them tomorrow - and this fear does not depend on their actual assessments.
In many schools, parents have the impression that teachers are counting on them very much in terms of helping with homework. But mother and father are not tutors and homework preparation institutes, many simply cannot cope with this. Before sending your child to school, parents should ask the school authorities what they expect from parents: general support or concrete help?
Those parents whose children already go to this school can give a very valuable insight into what is really happening here. For example, is the school really trying to establish contact with parents when a child is just starting to get worse, and not just at the moment when he is already getting bad marks?
How to become a detective
Pretend to be a detective and note the following: how is the classroom furnished? Although posters hang on the walls, but maybe they are all torn? Impressive paintings are visible in the corridors, but were they not created as part of an art course for capable students? Sometimes parents can judge by similar signs whether there is a culture of indifference and aversion in the school, or whether everyone here is attentive to children and this is good for them.
And do not forget to look into the school toilets. Common areas help to form an opinion not only in detective novels.
Best of all, if you manage to see how your child’s new school lives its daily life. True, unknown people are not so easy in the middle of the school day to go through school. But nothing will prevent you from checking in with the secretary and completely officially walking everywhere. Change is the most interesting time: what do the students do? Are the teachers watching them at recess, or are they all hiding in the staff room? How are conflicts resolved?
Is school suitable for your child?
Not only schools are different, but schoolchildren too. That is why parents should always bear in mind that a school that fits perfectly with one child may not be so good for its brothers or sisters.
Many students are real mathematical geniuses, but they suffer when learning any foreign language or vice versa. Some children are extremely mobile. Features may also be the result of disease.
Any of these situations should be discussed with the school leadership and find out whether the school is ready to take into account the special situation of the child.