Understanding your child’s temperament
Temperament is a contextual and a biological trait that influences how an individual interacts with their environment. It is important to understand your child’s personality and behaviour, for no one else knows your child better than you. There is a need for you to assess your child’s natural aptitude, how your child learns best, their likes and dislikes. If one manages to identify these talents and nourish them, your child probably will shine out more than we could think.
A common theory for supporting unique temperaments is “goodness-of-fit.” The main rationale behind goodness-of-fit theory is that a child’s development is shaped by the interaction between their own characteristics and the environment around them. It is for this very reason that you need to ensure that the school fits your child’s needs.
Teaching methods should be interactive and engaging
The way teachers implement a curriculum in the school matters a lot. The way children are being taught should be more collaborative and engaging so that children take part actively in all activities related to academics and otherwise. Teachers should interact positively with children and should provide children with reinforcement at constant intervals, to keep them motivated and to fulfil their need of being validated. According to Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, interactive learning teaches children how to collaborate and work successfully in groups, an indispensable skill as workplaces become more team-based in structure.
School space should be designed for independence
Children often spend most of their time in a world that’s been designed for adults. So, a school should be their space which is tailor-made keeping in mind the needs of children. Children should have access to all the material present at the school and its should be well within the reach of each child so that they can be independent and choose what they feel like doing during downtime. This helps foster their independence and empowers them to make decisions and take responsibility. Children should be their own leaders and they should be encouraged to be the master of their own play.
Warm and comforting environment
School is often a child’s first experience away from home, so its very important that parents choose a school that offers a safe, warm and a conducive environment for learning and their overall development. A study done by Heidi Somersalo, Tytti Solantaus and Fredrik Almqvist states that there’s a direct correlation between classroom climate and the mental health of primary school children. The results show associations between poor sixth-grade classroom climate and an increase in emotional and behavioural problems in both boys and girls. Therefore, it becomes really important that we choose a school that provides parents with a safe and friendly environment.
Passionate and qualified teachers
Passionate, caring, and qualified teachers and staff should be utmost priority while looking for a school. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the most important characteristic for teachers of early childhood development is enthusiasm and passion for children. The most amount of time a child spends is with the teacher. Make sure to have a conversation with the teachers or by talking to parents whose kids are already in the school. Teachers play a vital role in the overall development of the child therefore a well-educated, hard-working and dedicated set of teachers is very important.
Safety must be an equally important factor while selecting a school. It is important to understand what are the security measures the school follows, be it authorized people allowed to pick up your child after school, emergency procedures.
You should also try and understand what measures the school follows to prevent bullying, harassment and other forms of abusive behaviours.
Student to teacher ratio
One of the most important and often ignored factor, a medium-strength class is always better than a class filled with children. Younger students need more adult attention, so they need a lower student-to-teacher ratio. Older students, assuming they have normal levels of self-control, require less adult attention. A child needs attention to grow and that can only be achieved if a teacher has the time to focus on every child. Teaches should be never over worked and should have the time to nourish, observe, correct and appreciate the behaviour of every child.
One needs to also evaluate the distance of the school from your residence. This is important because the shorter the travel time, the more your child feels fresh when they reach school and are able to focus more on what’s being taught. Similarly, once the school gets over, the faster the child gets home, the more time they have to focus on extra-curricular activities. A long commute can also be very draining for a child, mentally and physically as well.