What is the single most important factor in a good education for your child today? Some may say it is the curriculum. Others think school location plays a big role. Some people feel the size of the school is what’s important in their child’s education. The dictionary defines a school as “an institution for educating children;” however, we know that without the human element of teachers, schools would have little value. Teachers are the cornerstone of the institutions we call schools, and they are what really make the difference between a good education and a poor one. Since students will be spending a good portion of their time with teachers, it makes sense that their impact would be evident. Teachers are one of the many treasures of a small school. In a private, small school setting, the teacher holds an advantage for several reasons, which we will explore.
Teachers in small schools have more opportunities to form bonds with students
Small schools have a much smaller student to teacher ratio, so teachers enjoy more interaction with their students. Day to day interactions are more personable when there’s not the crowd of faces common in a larger classroom. It follows that the teacher and students will form tighter relationships than public school settings where so many students compete for attention. Why are bonds important? School-age students are in their formative years and often conflicted in many ways. Aside from peer pressure to fit it, students often deal with lagging self-confidence, fear of failure, perfectionism, shyness, performance anxiety, and more. A teacher who is able to form a bond with the student can quickly become his or her greatest ally. The teacher is positioned and equipped to alleviate some of these difficult burdens.
Teachers in small schools are able to customize student instruction
Some students require a different mode or style of learning than their peers. Some students are auditory learners, some visual, others kinesthetic. Additionally, some students have specialized strengths accompanied by severe struggles in one or two areas. For example, a student may be an excellent reader even reading several grades above level, while at the same time be very literal and struggle with abstract comprehension. Another student may be a math wizard, yet when it comes time to write the answers, he or she stumbles over poor writing skills. These specific concerns call for a customized approach that is not possible in a big school due to large numbers of students. However, in a small school setting, teachers are aware of challenges students face and have the ability to customize the instruction to fit the needs.
Teachers in small schools are equipped to personally assist each student as needed
Often times, students need additional resources to grasp new concepts. When don’t understand the information, something must be done or he or she will fall behind. At this point, either the parents will step in and provide the extra instruction their child needs or a tutor is hired. On the other hand, in a small private school setting, teachers are a student’s first resource for help. The teacher is prepared to both teach and tutor the child, in most instances. Depending on the situation, the teacher may actually slow down the lessons allowing the student to catch up cognitively. This is a real confidence booster, as the student is continually making progress and not falling behind.
Providing a good education for your child is of utmost importance. With the challenges of peer pressure and academic rigors, teachers are the single most important influence on your child’s education. Small schools cultivate an atmosphere where bonds are forged. At the Tenney School, we are dedicated to providing the best education for our students. For more information, please contact us today!