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Choosing a school that is the “Right Fit” for your child

Choosing a School that is the "Right Fit" for your Child

Parents want the best for their children and this at the forefront of their thoughts everyday. They want the brightest future possible ensuring their child’s happiness, safety, health, and the best education are all part of these hopes. 

Parents want their children to grow into confident and compassionate human beings. It is very important to find the right school that fits their child’s approach to learning; each child has a different personality, needs, and interests. Finding the right school with the “right fit” is essential.

Decisions about your child’s education can evoke the pressure you had when you were preparing for your board exams. You may feel that your choices are limited and that schools hold all the cards, and, as a parent, are left to scramble to fit into school requirements and timelines. It doesn’t have to be this way; as parents, you are truly in the driver’s seat when it comes to making decisions about your child’s education. There is also the misperception that once a decision is made, families cannot change schools. This too is in parents’ control. Choosing the school that is the best fit for your child is something that will and should evolve over time!

Education has evolved over the years. Progressive, contemporary schools of today will look different than when you were in school. There are still many traditional schools around  whose emphasis is on high exam scores and getting the top rank. These schools will feel safe and comfortable to you because this is what you know, what you remember.

Let’s rewind to your time at school. Did you enjoy long lectures? Didn’t you wait for your weekly PE classes? Did you begrudge exams? Do you actually remember what you learnt for your Board exams, and did this learning have any purpose in life other than securing a grade to get an interview or a job?

Thankfully, parents today have more options to choose from for their child’s learning; learning should be more engaging and interesting. What top universities and employers demand is different now than even ten years ago. Communication skills, collaboration, problem solving, and creativity, along with being empathetic, caring and outward looking, are all qualities that top institutions seek in potential admissions and employees. Contemporary schools are places where children question their world, experiment, learn, collaborate, and are active participants in their learning, and not simply passive receptacles of “wisdom”. A student’s love for learning grows when they are actively involved in their own conceptual understanding, development of skills through applications, and focus on their development of character so that they may act responsibly in the world. Children tend to remember what they learn from people who respect them as individual learners and deserve authentic assessments that value their efforts rather than rote learning.

This means choosing a school that promotes a growth mindset and knows that intelligence is not fixed. All students have the potential for growth and success. This kind of school encourages children to think independently and challenges them to step beyond their comfort zone. A growth mindset school encourages children to learn from their failures and not just celebrate success; and that developing grit to push through failures strengthens future learning. Schools should inspire students to find their own voice and learn through inquiry and collaboration to build confidence and grow into responsible individuals.

A school that defines rigor as a creative, joyful process within a positive learning environment for children should not be difficult to find. It takes parents asking the right kinds of questions of school admissions officers, and a willingness to step out of their comfort zones to do so!

Parents should seek schools that focus on real-world project based learning, that stimulates a child’s mind in an authentic context. Parents should look for schools that connect the dots between school learning and real life application. Parents should look for schools that integrate conceptual understanding, skill-based competencies, and the development of character to prepare their children for life, to have that “best for them” dream brought to reality.

Parents should look for a school that is honest and transparent and invites them into the learning process. A school that values open communication between students, teachers, parents, and school leaders is what creates an entire community of learners, and one where parents join in the risk taking and grow as they support their child along their journey. When a school engages the parent community in their activities, events, and supports parent involvement in their child’s learning, it reflects their vision of wanting the best for every child. It honours parents as their child’s first teacher, and invites them to be co-contributors in the learning values that they seek to instill in their children.

Parents should look for a school that makes your child’s growth and well-being be their North Star!

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