Tag: schools

How to Choose the Right School for Children? Parental Guide

What Aspects must be looked into?

Every year the most stressful time for parent community is when the new school sessions are about to start and you struggle to find the right schools for your Pre-schoolers.

Or maybe you have relocated and are trying to select a good school at the new place.

Or maybe you are not happy with the current school of your child and trying to look for some other school at the same place.

Most of you young parents are confused as to how must you select the school? Should you go for a big established school or an upcoming one? What all must you look for in a school? Do the results define a school? Should you go for State Boards, CBSE or ICSE Schools?

Selecting a school implies that you are putting your child on a learning trajectory. Through this article, I am sharing the insights based on observations and experience which will help you to make right choice.

In order to make the right choice, you must make your observations on the following parameters and look deeper in to these aspects.

Competence of the Faculty

Are they well qualified and trained?

What methodology do they follow?

How to check that?

In case you are physically verifying, visiting the school, it is obvious when you talk to them. You can see, feel and get vibes of the same. Experience & expertise speaks for itself.

In case you are looking into the schools through websites, try to find more about them by asking the parents of the children who study there.

You must ensure that the school meets the highest standards of excellence in terms of its teachers, their methodology of teaching learning, academic curriculum and moral standards.

 Ethos of the School

Is it loving & caring?

Does it radiate concern for children?

How to check that?

Choose to visit the school if possible. You can feel positive energy and vibes.

Also take notice as to how are people in general talking to each other, do they talk politely and with courtesy to each other? Are they comfortable with each other?

Most importantly, how do the seniors relate with their subordinates? Is there a feel of fear? There may be a feel of authority but if it is wrapped in love and concern, it is okay. But if it is only authority without humanity, you may have to reconsider.

Class Strength and Teacher Student Ratio

Big Class Strength, Multi-sectional School with Super facilities

Average Class Strength, 2/3 section school with basic facilities in place

How to decide?

In a class with 30-32 students, the teachers will be personally able to attend to every student’s individual learning needs.

In big class sizes and in very big schools, individual attention starts fading out which is so crucial at least up to class 8th.

So, consider this factor based on the need, age and class of your child. How does your child learn; in group settings or individually? How much attention does she need to understand and master any concept?

Usually, in junior classes, the children need more of individual attention and ample practice to master the skills of reading writing and arithmetic. By secondary classes, children are grown up enough and have already mastered the basic skills so class size does not really make up much difference to the learning curve of children until there are real discipline issues at class level.

Teaching – Learning Experience and Overall Focus

Traditional old-fashioned teaching & focus on rote learning (memorization). Only academics are focused on.

Innovative, experiential learning with focus on learning by doing along with promoting multi-dimensional growth of children. Extracurricular activities like sports, music, arts & craft, dance &drama etc. are equally focused on.

How to find out?

Try to talk to the parents of the children or the senior students of the school. Look out for real evidences in and around.

For beginners and students up to class 8th at least, evidences of learning by doing must be a very important factor to make the choice of the school.

You can ask to see the school on some random working day and see it for yourself. Innovative, ever growing organizations have a vibrancy about themselves and opportunities of learning by doing are provided to children to help them explore their talent and skills.

What are the Motives of School?

Pure Education/ Pure Business

 Education with understanding of business/ Business with an understanding of real education

Pure education means the schools totally committed to the cause of education and are actively engaged in the growth and development of children.

Pure business means the schools are concerned more with the business aspects of running a school than the quality of teaching learning and growth & development of children.

But the point is pure educationists won’t ever have so much resources to run the school. So, there is least probability of coming across a school run for pure education. The school committed to the cause of education with understanding of business is the ideal choice. See, in real world any organization has to be economically self-sustaining. Such schools engage in real education with good quality faculty and nurturing ethos. In other words, the real value for the cost offered is delivered honestly.

How to check?

Try to find facts who are the people at the helm of affairs? Are they committed to the cause of education? Ask to see the people at key positions in the school. Talking to them and sharing your aspirations would give you a feel of what do they stand for, what philosophy do they follow. Appearances may be deceptive so talking to the parents of students already studying in the school will give you a fair picture.

Infrastructure & Facilities in the School

Basic Facilities

Five Star Facilities

How to decide?

The schools with basic infrastructure and good standard of cleanliness and greenery around serve the purpose. Neat and clean toilet facility, safe drinking water, a playground, laboratory and library also come under the basic facilities.

Some schools provide awe creating facilities which most of the times become the basis of your choice. You have to think critically as to how do such facilities add to the growth and development of your child. A.C classrooms, Buses, canteen etc. do not engage in real education so their availability and non-availability must not be a factor to select a school. In case you are considering the availability of such facilites as a factor to choose school, try to find out whether these facilities are for showcase or children are actually allowed to use them and develop. Find out whether labs are used or just stacked? A normal lab with ample uses is better than a well stacked big lab but minimal uses.

See during pandemic, we all have witnessed that buildings were at their own places yet the schools with focus on education have been able to provide an admirable teaching learning experience. So rationally you must select a school with all basic facilities in place, properly functional and utilized to the maximum.

Which Board the School is Affiliated to?

State Board/ CBSE/ ICSE

How to decide?

The choice of board will depend on the age & class of your child along with how often do you relocate. As a matter of fact, all schools up-to class 8thare recognized by the State Boards. For the board classes the schools are further affiliated to either the State Boards or CBSE or ICSE.

 Usually, the concepts taught in all schools are same as they are based on NCF (national Curriculum Framework) but pattern of asking questions in Board Classes is different.

So up-to class 8th, your choice must be governed by the other factors discussed (quality faculty, teacher-student ratio, education or business, and nurturing ethos.) and not by the Board.

But in case if you relocate (change place due to any reason) every two years, you may prefer a CBSE school as almost all of them follow the same pattern so your changing school will not impact your child’s studies although other factors would still make a difference.

Also, if you stay permanently at one place and aspire your child to go for state govt. jobs or seek admission into state colleges of higher studies in future, a State Board School with keeping other factors in mind can be a good choice.

Distance of the School from Home

A Big School with all facilities

A small school with normal facilities

How to decide?

Your selection of school in terms of distance from your home must depend on the age of your child. For preschoolers and primary classes, a school near to your home provided it has a caring ethos and focusses on learning by doing can be a good choice as it saves the child from tiring commuting schedule.

For beginners, the aim of starting school is to be able to develop a routine and spend some time away from home independently in the care of school and engage in creative activities.

For middle and Senior classes, you sure must look for lab, library and advance sports facilities. By that time, your child might have grown physical strength to bear the long travel and average time management skills to cope up with the time spent in daily commuting.

So, considering all these factors and mapping them to the age, need and class of your children will help you make a practical selection. Other factors, what do you base your decisions on, hearsay or your own needs and critical thinking, what values to you the most, what kind of environment do you look up for your child also will definitely impact selection of a school for your child. Whatever factors govern your choice, the minimum you must ensure is the real healthy growth and development of your child.

Making an Intelligent Choice is Imperative to Your Child’s Future!

Enjoy Happy Parenting!

Schools Reopening!!! Top 9 Priorities as Schools Reopen!

Schools Reopening!!!

Top 9 Priorities  as Schools Reopen!

The worst nightmare of our lives is slowly and gradually coming towards its end, number of cases coming down every day in India, vaccine launched and people being administered the vaccine shots, general public adapted to overall hygiene protocols, most of the places and services opened up, it is now time for the schools to reopen. A good number of SOPs circulated by the Government, CBSE Board and various other state boards, the schools are once again becoming LIVE – happening places. Though we are all happy about it, I am a little apprehensive of the way we are going to resume our working. Have we set our priorities about ‘What’ and ‘How’? Here are the top nine priorities…

#1. Expect, anticipate and adapt to change

One fact that we all must identify and accept is that post pandemic school culture and teaching – learning experiences are not going to be the same as pre pandemic. And we must never focus to achieve that. Much water has flown under the bridge. New normal and new adaptations will continue to evolve. We as schools must focus on continual adaptations over time rather than struggling to achieve the previous standards. A vision in to the futuristic society and the skills needed then must be the focus in schools of today.

#2. Focus on fostering Social connections and Emotional health of Students

 As schools we must remember that this generation of learners has survived a pandemic and they have come out stronger and resilient than before. In the race to cover and makeup for the lost academics, we must not overlook the success stories. You know, the survey reports world over suggest that 98% of the learners surveyed have missed their teachers and friends more than their academics. So as schools, initial few days we must invest into fostering and nurturing those connections again. Teachers must promote, share and listen to the stories of courage, hardships, pay cuts, work from home tensions, coping up – first hand from their students. They must build on their leanings of pandemic, reinforce them and build on the value of empathy, one of the core life skills to be a better human being.

#3. Establish Routine and Discipline with Patience

 Schools provide a structure and discipline to our children. Staying at home for so long with practically no or little schedule for the day has robbed our children of their habits and attitudes towards work. They may slog and delay work initially. We at schools have to understand the fact that it may take a fortnight or so to revive the right patterns and routines. So, plan to go easy with patience.

#4. Identify the Bigger Role the Schools play

Pandemic has proved that schools play a pivotal role beyond the teaching-learning experiences. They foster human connections and help learners develop social skills. The children have not missed the school buildings; they have missed the human interactions and feeling of belongingness with each other.

Read More…https://growinupwithlife.blogspot.com/2021/02/schools-reopening-top-9-priorities-as.html

 

How to overcome Learning Gaps as the Schools enter into New Session!?

Are Schools taking notice of Learning Gaps?

As the schools are reopening, schedules being restructured and new session supposed to be started from 1st of April as per the MHRD guidelines, we are all happy as teachers and parents to resume normal life and face to face teaching learning.

However, Learning Deficiencies or Learning Gaps as induced by the school closures during the last year are going to be a major issue to start with. A Learning Gap is the difference between what a student has learnt and what she/he was expected to learn during that class or grade. As an educationist, I am skeptical that in the mad rush to cover the syllabus in the new session and to make up for the lost profits whether the schools are going to do justice to the cause of education and to the cause of children in their care in the long run. Reading the survey reports ,  reflecting on the crisis and teaching learning dynamics of the last year, I believe the schools are going to face specific challenges in the following aspects;

Delayed Admissions/Enrolments: A lot of children, about 8% as per survey report DCTVS-4, in the early childhood category could not start the school. Which category must they belong to? Should they be enrolled in the next grades as per their age, following the No Detention Policy or should they be enrolled back in grades and start fresh beginning?

Read morehttps://growinupwithlife.blogspot.com/2021/02/how-to-overcome-learning-gaps-as.html

 

Schools Reopening!!! Top 9 Priorities as Schools Reopen!

The worst nightmare of our lives is slowly and gradually coming towards its end, number of cases coming down every day in India, vaccine launched and people being administered the vaccine shots, general public adapted to overall hygiene protocols, most of the places and services opened up, it is now time for the schools to reopen. A good number of SOPs circulated by the Government, CBSE Board and various other state boards, the schools are once again becoming LIVE – happening places. Though we are all happy about it, I am a little apprehensive of the way we are going to resume our working. Have we set our priorities about ‘What’ and ‘How’? Here are the top nine priorities…

#1. Expect, anticipate and adapt to change

One fact that we all must identify and accept is that post pandemic school culture and teaching – learning experiences are not going to be the same as pre pandemic. And we must never focus to achieve that. Much water has flown under the bridge. New normal and new adaptations will continue to evolve. We as schools must focus on continual adaptations over time rather than struggling to achieve the previous standards. A vision in to the futuristic society and the skills needed then must be the focus in schools of today.

#2. Focus on fostering Social connections and Emotional health of Students

 As schools we must remember that this generation of learners has survived a pandemic and they have come out stronger and resilient than before. In the race to cover and makeup for the lost academics, we must not overlook the success stories.

Read more on the link

An Open Letter to Schools

Dear Schools

In Education Sector, the only people, organizations or businesses to survive will be those who embrace the technology, learn and transform themselves. New Normal is being created very much in front of our own eyes..Digital/Online Teaching is replacing the Conventional Teaching. Those who match the speed of change will emerge successful.

Pandemic 2020 has reaffirmed the universal fact that it is the survival of the fittest but this time not in terms of physical strength, resources or connections. It is survival of the fittest..in terms of digital adaptability and resilience.

Ever wondered what are those attributes that reveal that somebody possesses that Attitude to Survive or not?

A Reality Check can be taken on the following parameters:
  • Am I capable to identify that change at the right time?
  • Am I ready to equip myself with the knowledge to take the change in stride?

Or

Am I still in denial mode and resisting the change?
  • Am I ready to invest time in myself to learn that knowledge?
  • Do I have the perseverance enough to continue if I have started to learn?
  • Am I ready to come out of my comfort zone and reinvent myself?
  • Am I ready to learn and fail rather than fail to learn?
  • Do I understand how to financially invest in learning to get the highest return?
  • Do I have the capability to convert knowledge into money and results?
  • Do I have the attitude to ‘just do it’?
  • Now let us do the Reality Check, this time..  ‘As a School’;
  •  Had I been quick enough to identify that right now digital/online teaching learning is replacing the traditional class rooms teaching learning?
  • Have I shown the willingness to take my entire team of educators on board and ready to learn the nitty gritty of on-line education in a systematic manner? (Please note that teachers learning on their own without any institutional support is not akin to systematic manner.)

Or

Do I believe that once the pandemic is over the teaching learning will come back to the traditional class room model?

  •  Have I made some structured schedule to spend time everyday to learn technology and upgrade myself? Have I done something to keep the morale of my team up?
  •  Have I made some practical plans to continue with my learning or it was just a knee jerk reaction and just organized a few training sessions and have nothing planned in a continuous manner?
  • Have I done something to keep the morale of my teachers up and motivated them enough to take a leap towards digital transformation? Have I been able to show them the vision? (Vision is something to be happening in the future but we are able to see it today?)
  •  Do I have guts and courage to learn and master one digital tool, another and then other till I find/ get customized one as per my needs? Am I ready to fail also while learning on the go?
  •  Have I been able to realize that I have to plan to invest financially also into the digital transformation trainings of my teachers? While right now it might seem as an expenditure but the business acumen in me tells me that it is actually an investment in future.
  • Am I capable enough to convert all this knowledge of digital transformation into real time profits and achievements? Do I understand that money invested today in my teachers’ training and establishing digital infrastructure at school is actually going to reflect in terms of my Students’ academic achievements and in turn helping me to sustain my business over time?
  • Have I taken the plunge in to digital learning, training and establishing digital interface or am I still brooding over fees and salary? Have I realized the things which can’t be controlled must not be tried to be controlled? Rather what can be done from my side, am I doing just that?

How right was Alvin Toffen when he said, “The illiterates of 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”?

This is applicable to individuals, organizations and businesses in equal measure. This is THE TIME for schools to learn, unlearn and relearn to be able to survive in future.

All the very best to all of you for the future ahead!

P.S.

These are of course difficult questions to ask and answer. Yet the difficult questions, when addressed to with utmost sincerity, very often open the doors to emerging possibilities.

I understand that the money is short in supply. Yet I know this also that we get funded when our plans are viable. Investment in digital transformation is very much a viable project.

Reading and listening to woes of private schools, teachers, parents and students on various platforms was somehow forcing me to think of a very practical bailout from the situation. This sure will help schools to emerge as schools of future. At such times of crisis the time at which decision is taken, makes a lot of difference to the survival trajectory.I believe many schools with futuristic visions have already taken the plunge at the RIGHT TIME and will survive the pandemic in the sense that the business and education both will be taken care of.