As a parent, it's natural to want only the best for your child. The world can be so hard, and putting your children on the path to success is one of the key goals of any mother or father. Finding a good education for your kid is one of the prime parts of this process.
It's also easier said than done. Navigating the educational waters in the city where you live can be difficult. There so many different schools, curriculums, programs, and considerations to be researched and looked through. When it comes time to choose a high school for your teen, where will you send them?
It's a decision that could very well impact the rest of their lives.
What kind of things should you be considering when making this decision? Read on, and we'll walk you through everything that you need to know.
1. Smaller Is Often Better
In a variety of studies, it's been shown that a smaller classroom is often a better classroom. Small groups of students tend to be able to form a closer bond with a teacher, and this bond can learn to a much more rewarding and involved teaching relationship.
Smaller class sizes obviously mean that your child will get more one-on-one attention from a teacher. That teacher can work to help your child get ahead and may even be able to specialize some of the class lessons to best fit the way your child learns.
In a large class of many children, there is simply not the time nor resources to work in this kind of way. In these types of classrooms, teens might feel at a distance from a teacher, as there is no real one-on-one interaction. It's worth asking a school how big their classroom sizes are before sending your child to that high school.
2. Teachers Are The Most Important Thing
There are many aspects to look at when considering what high school to send your teen to. But at the end of the day, these considerations are simply not important if the school doesn't have good teachers.
A teacher who is able to connect with kids and spark a passion for learning in them can change a student's life. When looking at schools, attempt to meet and get a feel for as many as the teachers as possible. Do you like them as people? Do they seem excited and engaged by the act of teaching? Would YOU want them as a teacher?
It can be important to trust your gut in these situations as you likely won't be able to sit in on many classes yourself. Not every teacher at every school will be an all-out star. But if you can count on more than half being great guidance for your child it can be well worth looking into that school.
Considering diversity in a teaching line-up is also important. A child is likely to learn a lot more from teachers of varying ages, genders, and backgrounds. Too much of the same thing can prove to be a moot point, but diversity in a teaching staff can be a huge plus.
3. Extracurricular Activites Can Be Great
When it comes to your child's education, it can't be all about math, science, and history. These are key parts of your child's learning experience, of course, but there's also much more to life. At this age especially, it's important that teens are encouraged to follow their passions and to try out different things.
That could be many things: it could be sports, it could be student government, it could be film, art, or dance. The more that the high school you're looking at offers, the more likely your teen will find something that they connect to.
These extracurriculars have a wealth of benefits. They can provide happiness for your child, of course, and can give them a sense of community and belonging. They also look great on a college resume, something that neither you nor your kid would complain about.
And who knows? Maybe your teen will really fall in love with their new passion and want to pursue it. As a parent, you might feel sad that your dreams of law or medical school might fade, but the joy of connecting your child to a true passion is one that can't be replaced by anything else.
You can read more about the benefits of student passion and come to your own conclusions.
4. Thinking Of The Next Step
A high school education is important, but a college education is key. In today's employment market, it's near impossible to get a good job (or even a bad job) without a college education.
That means it is important that the high school you're looking at takes college preparation seriously. Are the guidance counselors caring and knowledgable? Does the school work to prepare students for key tests like the SAT or ACT? Will they keep you in the know about important deadlines and elements of the application process?
Your teen's high school should be a partner in shaping the future of your child. If you can't rely on them to be part of the team when it comes to colleges, it might not be worth sending your kid to their school.
How To Choose A High School For Your Teen
Education is mightily important. When it comes to providing for your child, you need to know how to choose a high school that will serve them. The above facets are just a few things worth considering.
Need more advice on high school and college? Check out our education page for more.