Social and Emotional Learning
Private school teachers actively engage in the social and emotional learning of the students, acknowledging the connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind. Advisor programs replace the public school homeroom model, with advisors serving as intermediaries, mentors, coaches and proctors. Advisors help students set and reach goals and navigate any academic or social concerns. Private school advisors encourage self-advocacy skills both in and out of the classroom. Additionally, they become the point person for parents, students and other faculty members if problems arise.
At The Country School, social and emotional learning complements academic learning. Students are taught to value mindful reflection and to take brave breaths before confronting challenges. They learn that their voices matter and to truly be a good listener, they must be open to others’ viewpoints. They practice empathy, self-respect, respect for others, and kindness.
Such learning does not exist in a vacuum; it is woven into everything we do at The Country School. Specifically, at Country School PreSchool, students have a breath mat in their classroom. They can request to sit, take a moment, and even use the breath ball should they need some calming. They practice yoga on an ongoing basis and even have a classroom job of a Yoga Pose Leader. They are slowly integrating meditation and mindfulness into their schedule, and consistently working on identifying and managing feelings. County School PreSchoolers are taught strategies to deal with their emotions. Finally, teaching kindness and empathy are at the heart of every day in PreSchool, as teachers and students model and role play.
Teachers and advisors develop meaningful relationships with students and parents to form a solid and lasting team. In a private school environment, teachers have myriad opportunities to develop connections among community members: with parents as partners on the students’ educational journey.
Even after graduation, private schools attract visitors to enrich learning opportunities. Alumni return to share their experiences and successes and even work on campus. A testament to meaningful connections and a school that fosters a feeling of family, at The Country School, alumni return to campus to teach summer camps. They serve as Elmore Leadership Fellows and members of our DEI team. One of our alumnus is now one of our Middle School teachers, and other alumni have their own children attending The Country School.
Private schools have the distinct advantage of smaller class size. With a low student:teacher ratio, students quickly learn that each voice matters and no one can hide in the back of the room or slip through the proverbial cracks. Small class sizes also provide teachers with the ability to get to know their students very well. This familiarity lends to individualized teaching even within one classroom. Teachers know their students, they know how far they can stretch them and when to ease up. Such an intimacy is impossible in heavily populated classes.
Given the small class size, it naturally follows that students are given individualized attention. Reading and writing workshops, one-on-one instruction, enrichment and/or remediation are continued benefits of private schools. Teachers craft their lessons for “the student” and not broadly for “the group.” Such individualized attention is also enhanced by the teacher-parent partnerships private school culture encourages.
An added advantage that springs from small class size is improved behavior. Fewer discipline problems arise when students understand their accountability and merit.
Is Private School Worth the Investment?
Is private school worth the cost? Absolutely.
Private schools become a place of happiness where alumni return to enroll their own children and faculty spend their careers. This happiness breeds enthusiasm for learning and a desire to succeed. The internal and external motivation the students have often results in their earning merit scholarships at secondary schools and beyond. For certain, an investment in private schools pays off.
If you’d like to continue this conversation and learn more about the numerous advantages of a private school education, we welcome you to schedule a virtual tour and connect with Director of Admission Pam Glasser at 203-421-3113 or email@example.com