When looking for the best international school, you have to understand that matter-of-factly you’re looking for a learning institution possessing a set of characteristics.
You actually want to see one that’s home to dedicated teachers, relevant teaching-learning support systems, administrators who put premium on your safety and of course a system that honors graduates with an international baccalaureate.
To make sure you find the best international school, try taking our advice as follows:
First, try to read as many articles about the international schools in or near your area. Here are some links:
Second, narrow down your search by focusing on schools offering services within your budget range.
Third, make an onsite visit. There’s simply no better way other than to check things out firsthand to find the best while making sure you get a great deal with your money.
During your field visit, consider the following.
1) Learner’s needs and preferences. If the learner loves hands-on learning activities, enrolling in a school that clings to traditional, teacher-centered methods like lectures is simply going to be counterproductive. Find out what the school offers toward meeting your unique needs, styles or preferences. Is it blended learning you want? Does differentiated learning work well for you? A teacher worth her salt should be able to tailor her instruction to suit such peculiarities. Do look beyond the glowing reviews, the stylish building architecture and the smiles on the poster-ad. In the main, learners are developed by teaching methodologies.
2) Facilities, computers, the works. Studies show that children of the 21st century learn better with gadgets and apps. At first glance, shutting off these tools during learning seem reasonable; it may lead to less disruptions and quiet learning. But it could stifle the young learner’s creativity and remove a potentially learning support they are already adept with. When choosing a school, don’t be taken instantly by the amenities especially when it has got nothing to do with your aim. If the facility you need for your specific, unique learning goal is available, do check it out first whether it’s accessible, functional and up-to-date before you exclaim, “eureka!”
3) The location. A school might have the best in terms of facilities and teaching staff. But if the location eventually takes you on a daily traffic grind, it’s probably time to think of an alternative.
4) Security. Bullying is a serious threat to your or your kid’s education. All positive school qualities are set to nought when administrators treat bullying with “kid’s glove.” This scourge can inflict irreparable damage not only on the educational performance of younger learners. Worse, it could affect other areas of their lives including their mental and emotional health. So be sure the school has a strong anti-bullying policy and that implementation is consistent before signing in.
5) Track record. As in many other fields of activity, we often see the best through previous accomplishments. So ask the school where it’s graduates are? Are they better off? Does the school even track its former students to see how their doing?
6) Try chatting with the educators. As we have pointed out, the best school is home to dedicated teachers. These education front liners are considered by research community as the single biggest factor impacting education. They either make or break the school’s track record.
Finding the best is indeed easier said than done especially with school administrators and their ads making overlapping or contradicting claims.
So be tough and unrelenting during your search.
One final word: Any international school might be hyped as runaway success by anybody. Then again, what’s indeed best for them might not be the best for you as well.