We’re shopping for a new school for MLM. He’s going to 1st grade in 2015 and we’re a bit worried. Correction- Red is a bit worried. Am anxious. Anxious because when I was going to school at his age and even at an age older to what he is now, there was usually one or the other choice. And now there are choices galore! Ergo more and more chances to screw up his proper introduction to academia.
The more schools there are, the more parents turn up; kids in tow. The more parents turn up, the more schools pop up. It’s the strongest symbiotic relationship I’ve seen in a long, long while.
Each school promises to nurture your child while not over burdening or even mildly burdening them with any academics and letting them grow in a manner befitting their innate personality and the visions the founders of the schools have held true while establishing the school. HORSESHIT!
A school is a business. A business can be started on noble principles but nobility isn’t going to pay dividends long-term so you get with the program and start adding academic gloss via whatever seems to be trending. And while what might seem cynical the fact of the matter is that the methodologies we studied in weren’t bad at all. The people who implemented them might have been sub-standard but the syllabus wasn’t and we just need to take a look at our own achievements and where we are in life to be cognizant of the fact.
We end up obsessing about teacher-student ratios, ventilated-classrooms, AC in school buses, travelling time to school et al and all of these are valid points to ponder upon. But I don’t consider any of them a make or break thing barring the school distance in the case of a small child.
Here’s what I want for my kid-
- patient teachers who like to teach.
- a school that has enough open space to make the child feel GOOD about where they will be spending 80% of their childhood.
- an understanding of a child’s learning styles so the academics can be pitched accordingly.
- a capable administrator as the head of the school who doesn’t just look at numbers but also wants the kids in the school to actually KNOW and UNDERSTAND what’s being taught.
- a decent ratio of classroom vs. outdoor activities.
No school will be able to influence or enhance a person’s native intellect. It is what it is. But if they make a child happy, especially a small child, the kind of commitment towards learning they will get is nothing short of phenomenal!
Fingers crossed this particular bit of shopping around doesn’t entail any returns.
Lordy…tough times ahead.