Large class sizes
One of the reasons parents send their children to private school is for the individual attention small class sizes afford. You want your child to interact with her teachers. You don't want her to end up hiding in the back of a large class room. She's in private school because she wants to learn. So do her classmates.
When you have 12-15 students in a class, you really can teach. Discussions, analysis and explanations are much easier to facilitate with a smaller group. Everybody's opinion matters. From the teacher's perspective it is much easier to assess progress when you are teaching a small group. You can make eye contact with everybody instantly and determine whether they've got it and you can move on or whether you need to go back and reteach.
Small classes play to the reality that everybody learns differently. Students receive information in different ways. They process it differently. The skilled teacher is always assessing where her students are vis-a-vis the material being covered.
The other factor which is so important for effective teaching is that the class is homogenous in the sense that the students want to learn, they are not embarrassed to excel and they are unafraid to ask questions. Lots of questions. With small class size you can answer as many questions as you have to in order to teach the subject material.
No consequences for unacceptable behavior
If you break the rules in private school, you will face the consequences. The rules and the consequences for breaking those rules vary from school to school. Private schools value their independence. One key aspect of that independence is being able to write their own rules and then enforce them.
Because private school students, parents and the school are bound by the contract which they sign - although, for legal reasons, only parents and the school sign the contract - there is not the same due process which can delay and prolong resolution of a disciplinary matter as you will find in public schools. The private school will mete out justice swiftly according to the protocols and code of conduct which have been acknowledged by the student and parents in writing. None of the consequences will be a surprise or unexpected.
They are clearly spelled out in published documents. Furthermore, most schools will hold extensive orientation and refresher training about the school's explicite expectations as embodied in its code of conduct.
Private school parents are involved with their school. There are many ways to help out a school. Schools understand that not every mother or father can be on hand during the day to help with class trips or activities. But there are plenty of ways for parents to help out.
Your child's education is a partnership of three: school, student and parents. That extends to academics as well. You will be expected to meet regularly with your child's teachers in order to discuss her progress. You will receive frequent updates as well. "Out of sight. Out of mind" will not be possible when your child goes to private school.
Cuts to activities and programs
Private schools pride themselves on the broad range of extracurricular activities they offer. Review the profiles of the schools on Private School Review. Look at the activities they offer. And most of these are supervised and led by a member of staff too. Some of these clubs and activities were established decades ago and have their own rich history and traditions.
Athletics go to the heart of most private school's philosophies. A sound mind in a healthy body is a precept most private schools live by. Sports are integrated into the school schedule. Lots of different sports too. Again, review the school profiles on this site to see the great variety of sports activities offered. Private schools, depending on their size, will offer team sports and individual sports and several different levels both intramural and interschool. Many schools belong to athletic leagues in their region and/or state. The friendly competition between houses within the school and with teams from other school is a cherished tradition in most private schools.
Private schools make artistic activity an integral part of their curriculum just like athletics and academics. Musical ensembles and productions are a regular feature of most private schools' calendars. These musical activities are held in high esteem because they are important and not an after thought. Musical activities such as choirs and vocal ensembles, orchestras and bands enrich the life of a private school community.
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