Written by Samantha C. Coleman, M.Ed., M.S.Elm.
One would probably think that when parents invest in their child’s education and place their child in a private preparatory school that they are giving their child the best advantage to succeed. That idea may not be exactly true and is allegedly not true for a
Christian preparatory institution in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Let’s just say it is a disadvantage and it is a disgrace at this graceless preparatory institution.
Parents and teachers should be aware that all private institutions are not created equal or run to the best standards. Many of the educational resources and services are being denied due to a lack of knowledge of their existence. Parents need to do their research to ensure their child’s special needs are being met. Students may avoid state testing yet they are not getting the education they need due to lack of monitoring and understanding by the administration. In institutions like these, many educators are pulling resources from everywhere to fill in the empty gaps that the institution doesn’t know how to provide. In institutions like this, the administration is often not aware of what’s needed to run a successful school.
The truth is that at some institutions their mission statement is the exact opposite of what they produce, and it is further from the truth. A less than scholarly institution operates within a culture of fear, bias and within a strong lack of professionalism. The teacher culture of some institutions should be student goals. A scholarly institution allows for teacher planning and providing resources for professional development. A less than scholarly institution has no synergy and has more administration than educators due to negative retention results. A less than scholarly institution doesn’t respect staff, policies and is reflected in their teacher retention record.
Some would suggest that business-minded individuals lack the compassion that is needed to see various gray areas as they only see the bottom line or black and white. Profit should not be the mean, the students are the mean. The business of education can be successful when there is an administration on board that has an educational experience. Parents/Teachers need to avoid the following institutions that have the following conditions.
Avoid these graceless institutions if:
- The teachers work 40 hours a week and the institution doesn’t provide them health insurance.
- The teachers work during lunch because the institution says they don’t have anyone to cover the lunch shift.
- The teachers don’t get two 15-minute breaks.
- The teachers don’t have a planning period.
- The janitors very rarely clean your classroom.
- Parents pay for a curriculum that is not provided.
- No current or unused books administered.
- No special needs department.
- No behavior management protocol.
- The air-conditioning is broken in classrooms and students are hot.
- Overcrowded classrooms/ students sitting on the floor.
- Dual teaching consists of 1 teacher and 55 students.
- No coverage for classes when absent.
- Policies are not followed, paid sick days, late checks.
- No money in the budget for activities and or field trips.
- No money in the budget for performance showcases.
- Students transmit a stomach virus to teachers due to no soap in bathrooms.
- No tissue in bathrooms on the primary level.
- The administration lacks an understanding of what an I.E.P. is.
- The Internet is not reliable.
- School practices don’t mirror the mission statement.
- Printers are broken for 6 months as the administration refused to purchase toner.
- No teacher bathroom breaks.
- Expired food license.
- Planning days are aka administrative yelling days.
- Admin meetings are prevalent but the email after the meeting is computer courage.
- Students don’t regularly get Art, Music, P.E. which is important for student development.
- The primary level doesn’t get specials Art, music, P.E.
- The principal is rarely on campus.
- The principal phone mailbox is full and doesn’t respond to the parent’s needs.
- Lack of clear consistency communication between administration and teachers.
Overall, parents beware of false advertising. Parents really need to
volunteer at an institution prior to student enrollment to see what is going on in that institution so that they are informed. Administrators need to be aware of educational needs, respect the process and their teachers and provide basic resources so success can occur.
Now that you know, get out there and go!
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Written by Samantha L. Cooper, M.E.d., M.S.Ed.