You want the best for your child, so you visit school after school, but they appear to dislike everything. Finding the best center is easier than you think, if you can quickly identify promising signs.
This can be quite a difficult topic to write about because choosing the right training center can be quite subjective. What is right for one child may not be right for another. Also, some parents may focus on different aspects of a training center that they feel are important, whereas other parents will focus on entirely different aspects that they feel are more worthwhile. So, what are the things to look out for?
People say first impressions count and that should be the case here, as well. Are the classrooms clean? Are all classroom materials such as books, pencils, erasers, etc. neatly put away and not strewn about? Are kids’ work proudly displayed around the classroom? If yes, move on to the next section or try again.
Most cities and towns will have a decent choice of training centers. Take a guided tour of the facilities of all potential schools. A center that will not allow you to take a look around is one to avoid.
Generally speaking, a good center will have happy, engaged staff and children who are energetic and participatory. If the mood of the school is upbeat, it’s a good sign that the facility is a viable option. If it seems like no one wants to be there, neither should your child.
Use of Environment/Every Opportunity to Learn
Search for a school that gives its children the opportunity to actively participate in learning. The best options will allow the students to play while learning. Make sure that the teachers have a varied curriculum to follow that might include pretend play, reading, painting, puzzles, exploration of the environment around them and so on.
Does the school offer different levels for young English learners or is there just one class for all students? Are kids lumped together irrespective of age or knowledge? You do not want a class with 10 year-olds and five year-olds being mixed together, even if their knowledge of English is similar. Also, what programs/levels are offered? Do the different levels make sense as they progress or are they all over the place? Does it make sense for the students’ age level or not? Talk to parents whose children either attended the school in the past or present.
A big mistake that lots of parents make
One major error that I see with a lot of parents is staying with the child as they try out the class. Now, during this time the child may cry, especially if he/she is very young. That is fine, it happens. It is a new environment and your child may initially not be very comfortable in a classroom full of strangers.
Even if your child is fine during class and is visibly having fun/enjoying himself, it is not uncommon when the class is finished for parents to ask the child if he/she wanted to come back and have the child say no.
Now, the mistake that parents make is to take their unhappy child out of the class and not come back to the school again. While it is important to take into consideration what your child is feeling, this should not be the only concern. If you watched the class and are happy with the teaching quality and other kids seemed to be well engaged and happy in class, why would you assume that your child would not be happy, as well, once he/she has settled in?
It would be a huge mistake by parents to disregard a school they were initially happy with just because their child expressed disappointment in his/her trial class there.
What you would be better off doing is following my last piece of advice, which is talk to the parents of the children that have attended or currently attend the school. They will give you a better indication of what the school is like rather than your child’s initial reaction to a new environment.
Besides, if you like everything else about the school and the only thing holding you back from enrolling your child is his/her reaction, I really think you will be doing your child a disservice by letting the school go. There will be times in life when he/she does not like his/her job or co-workers, or may not like his/her university lecturer or whatever. What will your child do then? Would you really want him/her to go home and cry to you? Or would you want him/her to deal with the situation? It is important for your child to learn how to handle uncomfortable settings early-on. The younger they do this, the better.
By taking away all of your kids’ problems, you also take away their ability to overcome them. Let them beat their initial fears/discomforts/stressors and once they do, you will see them become a stronger person.