Education and access to knowledge hold a sacred place for Black Americans. From the time when it was inaccessible to us, the risks that we took to acquire it, and the opportunities that have arisen for us from its acquisition, we have always valued learning and education.
Our demographic – the Black members of generations X and Y – have become the caretakers of that tradition. Now in our prime parenting years, we are faced with difficult choices as we consider the scholastic portion of our children’s education.
This series of articles chronicles five aspects to consider as you choose the right school for your child. There is no one strategy that will help you to find that “best fit”, but these basic guidelines will be beneficial to you on your search.
4. Bring your children to the schools that you are considering.
This should be considered unnecessary advice, but I have seen many parents visit a school without their children. While they may sometimes be more interested in mascots, lunch menus, or locker sizes, it is important for you to see how the teachers, administrators, and other students respond to your children as visitors. It can be an excellent indicator for how they will interact with them as actual citizens of the school.
In addition, keep in mind that while you may be making the ultimate decision about where they go to school (and even paying the bill in some cases), involving your child intimately in that decision invests them in the selection process and in their education overall. It creates what educators call a “teachable moment”, during which a child can learn, through real-life experience, the value and importance that Black Americans place on education. Plus, your child will begin their experience at the school with feelings of ownership and belonging that will serve them well as they become full-fledged members of its community – a process that definitely has its challenges.
Check back in to alumniroundup.com for Part 5 of this series: Talk to People in the School Community