We’re looking at the reasons why some kids do well in school and others don’t thrive as well as they should. We’re back to the Nature versus Nurture debate here folks, as we try to determine what are the factors that ensure that children get the best start in their school life and see what we can learn from this and how we can use what we learn to ensure that we give our kids the very best chance in school.
There are many factors at play here when it comes to kids getting the best out of their school days. The school itself is of utmost importance – we all know that some schools seem to perform better than others and good leadership is essential in schools if they want to succeed. A strong head teacher with the imagination and vision necessary to take a school to the top is one of the most important aspects for any school. A head that is committed to inspiring the rest of the teaching staff and making sure the school is a great place to learn will turn out pupils who are set for success in their future lives.
The state of the school buildings is another important consideration. Kids learn better in bright airy classroom that are purpose built for modern teaching methods. So many of our schools in the UK are housed in decaying buildings which are no longer big enough to do the job, with the resulting overflow into temporary prefab classrooms. Much is being done to address these problems, but the education budget is never enough and the funding often needs to be spent on more critical requirements.
Curriculum is another issue here – a creative curriculum that covers what kids need to learn is just part of this. How the learning opportunities are presented is of concern here – interesting lessons will inspire kids to want to know more about a subject. This is often down to individual teachers – we need teachers who love their job, who are passionate about helping to create the society of the future.
Teachers do a very difficult job which is often made more difficult by the constraints we put on them as a society. Many teachers today do little more than crowd control, trying to keep unruly pupils from spoiling lessons for the rest. Making sure our kids know how to behave in school, what is acceptable and appropriate and what is not will go a long way towards making sure the teacher has time to actually teach, rather than managing behaviour. That’s one of our responsibilities as a parent – to ensure our children are able to participate in lessons fully.
However, studies are showing more and more often that the major factors affecting learning are the qualities of the individual child. Children with good, positive attitudes towards themselves and others will flourish in school. This means that as parents, we need to make sure our kids are fit for school. In the early years, we need to help them develop concentration by sitting down with them on a daily basis to focus on activities such as dot to dot, memory games and reading/looking at books.
As parents, we also need to teach our kids how to behave in the classroom and that the teacher is in charge. Making sure your child does not disrupt the class will make it easier for the teacher to deal with the class as a whole. A classroom full of well-behaved pupils is much easier to teach than a rowdy class and ensure that learning does take place. We need to accept that our children’s behaviour is a parental responsibility, not the responsibility of the school. The school is there to give the kids an education, the parental responsibility is to ensure that they are in a position to make the most of this education that is being granted to them.