Scouting for a School Series (SSS): NOT Choosing a School for the Wrong Reasons

These past few weeks taught me a few hard lessons. I realized that not only should a parent choose a school for the wrong reasons, a parent should also NOT dismiss a school for the wrong reasons. This was the conversation I had with a friend of mine:

Mommy Friend: Tina, where can I send my son next school year?

Teacher Tina: Why not bring him to XYZ School (obviously fictitious)?

Mommy Friend: Oh, I don’t like it there..

Teacher Tina: Why?

Mommy Friend: I spoke to another friend and she doesn’t like it there.

Teacher Tina: Why not?

Mommy Friend: She spoke to another friend who didn’t like it….

Whoa! Wait wait wait. Let me stop the conversation at this point because the poor school is being misjudged by hearsay. In the 9 years that I’ve been a school administrator, only a few years back did I realize that I can’t please every parent. It’s just not possible. Schools may do their best in everything and still won’t be able to please everybody. But 1 thing I can say is that we can please MOST of the parents. So, hypothetically, what if my friend’s friend’s friend πŸ™‚ spoke to that 1 irate parent of XYZ School? The school suddenly gets tainted with a bad reputation.

Studies show that a person would tell a good experience to less people than if the person experienced something bad. It’s human nature (to gripe, unfortunately).

Also, if you’re an unsatisfied parent, I suggest you inform the school of your issues. Most school administrators are very open to constructive criticism and if our goal is to improve not only the school but the education system, then your insight is crucial. When a parent posts a comment on this site about issues regarding their schools, I usually ask what their issues are. All of your issues are important and most of them are still “savable” — meaning, if told in the proper forum, may improve your child’s school life and improve the school as well. If you discuss issues only among yourselves, parents, then that’s not going to help.. it’s just simply, gossip.

So to continue with the conversation..

Teacher Tina: Why don’t you visit it first? I know the director and I know they have a genuine progressive curriculum.

Mommy Friend: You might be right. I’ll try passing by tomorrow.

The End.

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32 thoughts on “Scouting for a School Series (SSS): NOT Choosing a School for the Wrong Reasons

  1. Hi teach:)

    I was nodding while reading your post:) Reminded me of my interview with you.

    This is a clear indication of how progressive schools, such as Nest, utilize strategies to partner with parents. Primarily, it is by communicating with them.

    I think we, educators, have a big role in reaching out to parents, in educating them about what they need to look for when scouting for schools. Both teachers and administrators should develop good communication skills in order that our messages would come across the parents- and that means, exhausting all our resources to inform, to educate, and to collaborate with them.

    Thanks for the opportunity to include Nest in my thesis. It was a learning experience. πŸ™‚ May God bless your school.

  2. Do you have a list of schools in the Pasig and Mandaluyong areas that are progressive schools? My kids are incoming grades 1 and 3 and come from a traditional school. I am looking at moving them to a progressive school this coming school year.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    1. Hi Jojo! Thanks for stopping by. In the Pasig and Mandaluyong area, I can recommend Britesparks along Libis and Explorations in Mandaluyong. I hope you read the rest of the posts in this blog so you can be guided in your school hunt πŸ™‚

      1. Teacher Tina,

        Do you have a list of progressive schools in the Las Pinas area? My son is entering nursery and I want to enroll him in a progressive school.

      2. Hi Teacher Tina!
        How about in Manila/Malate area? There seems to be no progressive school here. I visited one – Eton Int’l School – but got turned off by the receptionist. I was inquiring about the teachers and she just kept saying.. “Hardvard-educated”. And when I asked who the directress was, she told me.. “yun dumaan na mataba” WHAAAT?!! Plus, they charge 150K for toddlers!! I wonder if the directress knows that she is being called “mataba”..
        Hopefully, more good progressive schools will open in the Manila/Malate area

      3. Hi Jenny! Btw, great blog πŸ™‚ What you experienced in Eton was unfortunate indeed! I am not familiar with any progressive school in Manila but I noticed that in your blog, you have the link of Mom Exchange. They have a new segment called School Review. You can check out the schools in your city and use the info in this blog to ask them the important questions. I also have the same wish that more progressive schools will open in Manila. Visit often!

  3. Hi Teacher Tina,

    We have decided to enroll our 3-year-old daughter in a progressive school this coming school year. I know that we made the right decision in (i) choosing a progressive and student-centered approach to learning; (ii) investing in education especially early childhood education (progressive schools are more expensive than traditional ones); and (iii) deciding that our daughter is at the right age to be in school (we can see her school readiness). It’s just that other moms can really be “insensitive” and judgemental when they say that (i) putting a 3-year-old child in school is too early; (ii) it’s not worth it to invest in nursery schools with high tuition fee because they will only play in school so a traditional school or daycare center will suffice. Even old-school folks think this way. It’s just hurtful to think that they also judge parents like us who took the time and effort to learn the best method of learning for their kids. I just keep quiet during these discussions, beacuse I do not want to appear as a “know-it-all”, although sometimes I am really tempted to speak up and share with them the ideals of progressivism.

  4. Hi Tara! Let those people read this blog and all other links I suggested here so we can educate them about the wonderful world of progressive education. I believe that ignorance brings about this negativism. I admire your willpower!

  5. hello, i’m a mom of two girls ages 7 and 9 and just happened to visit this site, i’ve been looking for a progressive school for the past 2 days. my kids are currently enrolled in an international school for the past 4 years and i think it’s about time i find them a new school for the school year 2010-2011.

    I am not happy anymore with the system of the school. the school administration is so unorganized and the turnover of teachers is so unbelievable! every 2 or 3 months my kids get new teachers, they leave for some reason. (i heard bec of the salary, curriculum, etc) i guess that would be a cause for concern.

    if you have any suggestions of schools i could visit please let me know. i really appreciate the help:)

    many thanks
    Grace

  6. Hello! I’m a teacher too, but have chosen to be an exclusive one for my own kid for the last 9 years (in short, housewife!)
    Anyway, I’ve been reading the page and I see that teacher Tina is very well familiar with schools around the area..I just want to ask about Britesparks International School, what do you think of it? I have read ONE review about it and it wasn’t very good, although, I’m afraid, it caught me a bit because it was written by someone who used to teach there…but it was the ONLY ONE that I have read so far…I want to know more, esp from ones who have experienced the school…I also just want to hear your opinions about it…
    My son and I already visited the school, and we liked it…but I’m still not very convinced…
    Looking forward to hearing from you…
    thanks!

  7. hello, i am also thinking of transferring my Gr3 & Gr2 boys to Britesparks. I will have a school visit today and will see for myself. Any updates on whether Ms. Cherry Blosson push through with this school? I have not seen any recent reviews on Britsparks so far and would like to hear more…Thanks…

      1. Hi Ilene, I did not enroll my kids at Britespark. They are still at the same school and I am quite satisfied with their progress at Sacred Heart Academy Pasig.

  8. Hello Ms. Tina! I definitely agree. I am an educator and have seen how miscommunication and gossip can lead to misunderstandings, especially between parents and schools. I am a believer of strong home school partnerships so it is really comforting to see read this.

    Thank you very much!

  9. Hi! I am transferring my daughter for next school year and was looking at Britesparks and Reedley International school. I would like to know if Cherry and Gigie enrolled their children in Britesparks. If yes, how do you like it. I would really appreciate any feedback on schools in the QC area thanks.

  10. Hello! It’s my first time here.. I just like to ask, I have a sister 9 yrs. old.. She is currently studying in a traditional school, would enrolling her into a progressive school next year a good idea?

    If ever it’s still okay for her to transfer school, do you have any suggestion here in pasig?

  11. Hi! I am also considering Britesparks for my daughter and would truly appreciate any comments and information. I see that Teacher Tina has recommended this school earlier on this thread. I hope to hear more from her ….and from other parents who are familiar with this school please. πŸ™‚

  12. I was looking at Eton International School, they’re opening a branch here in QC, and a friend of mine who is also a teacher (although not at Eton) says that she heard bad reviews about the school. We were already so excited that there was an international school close by, but as this blog suggests, we still should give the school the benefit of the doubt. I wonder if any parents here have their kids enrolled in the school? I’d be happy to hear some stories/reviews/feedback. Thank you!

    1. Hi Katrina! have you inquired at Eton IS in quezon city? I pulled my child from there. it’s a terrible school. the teachers are not well-trained. the facilities are dirty.

  13. Hi Teacher Tina,

    First of all, I am so glad I found your blog. I have been searching for 3 straight weeks for a appropriate school for my son who will be turning 3 this september. I am from laspinas and would like to ask your advise which school should I be enrolling him. My target is to get him to ateneo when he turns to Grade school. Given that wishful thinking; my dilemma is: should i enroll him in a montessori or progressive school? Is maria montessori in alabang a good foundation? Or should i put him to cambridge alabang? Any inputs on Young Creative Minds? I would really appreciate your inputs and if there are other good schools in laspinas or alabang that you can recommend, I will be very grateful!

    More power!

    Mommy Enyw

    Mommy Enyw

  14. Good day Ms. Tina, A very helpful blog.. i hope can you recomened a good progressive school at Mandaluyong City? Thank you and God bless

  15. Britesparks International School is no longer progressive. They changed their board of directors and administration this year. Within a span of 5 months, their new foreign principal left them (AWOL). He was substituting for other AWOL teachers. Actually in the high school department alone, their Social Science, Economics and English teachers, their replacements and the replacement of their replacements left for various reasons (financial, family, further studies,etc.). Each time, their poor students had to adjust to new teaching styles and rules. Moreover, they charged for books but no books arrived. Teachers give tons of pop quizzes and oral exams. There had not been much project-based learning.They keep on using old editions. Maybe you should recheck your stand regarding this school. People are being misled.

    1. As a mom who’s used to be in a different country, everything in Ph seems new and my family needs some adjusting (even in looking for schools). I’m not a subscriber of trad religious schools so I thought this blog was very helpful until I saw that it is outdated (the latest post was 3 years ago). Let me just share some updated info I was able to get about this school that was frequently mentioned here. Hope this sheds some light to you fellow mommies.

      http://britesparks.edu.ph/
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britesparks_International_School
      https://www.facebook.com/BritesparksSchool/

      More power to all hands-on moms,

      balikbayanMom

  16. Hi Gigie dela Cruz. Just read that you enrolled your kids in SHAP. Any feedback/comment will be much appreciated. Thanks!

  17. I’m thinking of enrolling my daughter in Sacred Heart Academy Pasig. She’ll be in grade 1 next school year. Any feedback about the school? Thanks…

  18. Hi. We are eyeing Britrsparks for our 4.5 y/o son. It would really help to get more feedbacks on that school. Thank you in advance

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