Have you ever felt like your student is getting lost in the shuffle of a big school? Many institutions now have too many students and too few teachers, which causes families to worry that their children aren’t getting the most out of their educational experience. That’s a valid concern too, especially when you’re paying good money for your child to attend school! According to an independent source, the school fees in Dubai can range till AED 130K. Many families in the Middle East, and the UAE in particular, are turning to smaller schools and even online schools to meet their needs. So, what are the benefits of small schools, and online schools that can mimic the small-school environment?
Smaller Class Sizes
The most obvious benefit to a small school is small class sizes. It goes without saying that a smaller class enables students to get more time with their teachers and higher rates of participation. Students are able to spend less time navigating crowded classes and more time actually learning. Online schools offer a virtual version of this by hosting online class sessions and allowing for students to navigate course content at their own pace. Some online schools, such as iCademy Middle East, have Learning Centers available to students where they can get one-on-one help from Learning Coaches. In this way, they are able to access a standard American curriculum, but in a setting that makes it easier to focus and learn.
Small schools have the increased ability to tailor learning to individual students and learning styles. The “one-size-fits-all” approach is necessary in large schools that don’t have the time, resources, or manpower to make learning a personalized experience. Lots of students can get by like this, but when school is individualized, they are able to thrive. No matter a student’s ability, small schools and online schools allow students more freedom to move at their own pace and spend more time on whatever they need.
Better Social/Emotional Environment
Bullying has become an unfortunate education buzzword over the past few years, and it seems like there is no corner of the world that is immune. While it’s important to teach children how to handle the bullies that they will inevitably come across, small schools and online schools can offer a respite for students and families when bullying has become too much. Toxic school environments can easily spread through large schools where it is more difficult for teachers to have a handle on students’ social lives. In a smaller environment, learning coaches and teachers can monitor more closely for changes in a students’ behavior that would indicate something may be wrong. They can also more easily see bullying behaviors and stop them before they get out of control. This contributes to a much better social-emotional environment overall, which frees students from anxiety and allows them to spend more time on their studies.
Shy and Introverted Students Can Thrive
Shy students often take the opportunity to hide when they are in a large class and it can be difficult for teachers to notice. Introverted students can really thrive in a small class because it’s easier for them to feel heard and appreciated. For students who have more severe social anxiety, online classes may be the perfect option. Their learning is not interrupted by overwhelming stress and anxiety, while they are able to focus on overcoming their fears at a pace that is appropriate for them.
An Increased Sense of Community
Community is not usually the first thing that comes to mind when searching for a school for your child, but it is surprisingly important! When students feel like they belong to a group that is all working towards the same goal, their chances of success rise. Smaller schools have a natural sense of community and are usually very accepting of new students who join their group. Even online schools have their own communities! Students are able to participate in classes, discussions, conferences, and even clubs that allow them to make connections with other students and their teachers.
If you feel like your student is not doing as well as they could or just looking for a change, consider switching to a smaller school and get ready to reap in the benefits!