Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Preschool Tours

You've narrowed down your list of preschool choices with great academic records and now it's time to tour. Beyond the usual questions, there are other questions you should be asking, and behaviors you should be noticing.  Here are a few major things to look for during your tour

Displays of the student's art work is a great sign 
  1. Does the school official actually interact with the children? Does he or she greet the child by name or just gives general, "Hi"?  Schools often have set tour dates so they can put their best foot forward.  I like to schedule my tour on another day so I can get a better feel of the culture and if the administrators don't know the children's names, you'll know that they haven't been there long, the children are all new, or they haven't cared to learn the children's names. 
  2. Do the children like their officials? Do you catch them approaching teachers or admins on their own? Hug or side chat?
  3. What is the willingness of the admin tour guide to take you to additional parts of the school...or when you ask, do they make excuses?
  4. Do you see bullying on the playground? Take time to observe the children in their free-play setting. I do it without the kids noticing too much but with school permission. This is when you can see the kids' interactions and how issues are handled by staff/faculty. You can also ask what they're policy is. Saying they have no bullying means they're oblivious and don't care to even know...which could be dangerous for your child.
  5.  Ask teachers and other staff if they'd bring their own kids to the school. Some parents will volunteer this information and that's good but then ask if they still are enrolled and why not
  6. How do they interact with your child? If your toddler seems apprehensive during the tour, does the tour official reach out to help put your babe at ease, do they seem annoyed by your child's reservations, or do they simply just ignore them? This can be indicative of their future (or worse) behavior when you are not around.
  7. Does the teacher for the class your child would be enrolled in come to greet you during the tour? If not, is there a valid explanation why not? If they don't come greet you or even wave hello, and no one seems to show that it's important, it could be a sign that the school is not into establishing a parent-teacher partnership
  8. Ask what the average tenure of the teachers and administrators there is.  Are they there long enough to really be invested in the children to be able to notice their strengths and weaknesses? Is it long enough to get engaged in the school culture and the mission?
Dialogue: What do you look for in your tour? If you've never toured, what questions would you have for other parents?…email me or leave your comments below  
…Until Next Time

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