The best private schools in the USA, boarding schools in America have long become a symbol of high-quality and prestigious education - however, parents still have a lot of questions before sending their child there. The difference in approaches, mentality, language barrier - all this alarms parents and periodically protects against giving a child a prestigious education abroad. Consider the key differences and features that distinguish the best private schools in America from Russian educational institutions.
- 1st September is not a holiday
US schools can start the school year on different days: someone in late August, someone even closer to mid-September, so there is no single holiday for Knowledge Day here. There are no solemn bouquets, bows and gifts for teachers: on the day designated by a particular school, children simply come, sit at their desks and begin to listen to the teacher. Yes, it’s so simple!
- Grades for classroom and homework are not the main thing in Russia
Parents in Russia are often simply obsessed with the performance of their children: compare them with classmates and children of friends, study electronic and paper diaries, clarify the causes of poor grades with teachers, etc. In the United States, parents don’t understand this obsession: development of the child’s thinking, his tendencies for analysis and critical evaluation, fostering hard work and a love of learning are appreciated. Everyone in the USA knows that in order to achieve the “American dream”, you need to work hard, because perseverance, attentiveness are valued more than natural talents and abilities. The child is given the opportunity to understand that if he makes an effort, he will get a good result, and he is taught to value his own time and manage it correctly.
Surprisingly for Russian parents, such a system does not lead to impunity and slackness: children study with pleasure and go to school every day, do various projects and speak in front of the class, participate in extracurricular activities - and are not afraid to bring C marks (which would just scared mothers and fathers).
- Junior students do not learn foreign languages
More and more often, Russian schools introduce linguistic lessons from the second grade, and many lyceums and gymnasiums from the first. Of course, most often it is English, and it is impossible to “move away” from such classes, they are considered part of the compulsory program.
US elementary schools do not load foreign languages of junior high school students - such subjects appear only in high school. English is the national language here, so the maximum is added to the school course Spanish (and even then only on the West Coast, due to the close proximity of Latin America and close ties with Spanish-speaking countries).
However, if English is not native to you (you were not born in an English-speaking country), then when you enroll in an American school, you will be asked to pass the test - and this should be taken into account if you plan to transfer to study in the USA.
- No one misses physical education
To be honest, the physical training in Russian schools has always been actually a voluntary affair: many had exemptions, and those who attended classes lazily threw the ball and occasionally ran a hundred meters. In addition, few people also go in for sports outside the school, especially at a serious level.
American people are very respected and appreciated physical development: every prestigious (especially private) school in the USA seeks to offer students as many sports sections as possible, and training in them is on a semi-professional level. What is important - there is no sexual segregation: if a girl tries herself in hockey or wrestling, and a boy in gymnastics or ballroom dancing, no one will look at them askance.
Being a member of a school sports team here is very prestigious, cool and promising. In addition to the respect and popularity of classmates, athletes have a chance to receive large sports scholarships (and for American colleges and universities this is a VERY weighty opportunity to save): professional coaches and scouts often look after rising sports stars at school matches, competitions and final games.
- Extracurricular groups often have sponsors
Not a single sport: extracurricular activities (circles, sections, communities and fraternities) at the school often have third-party sponsors. For example, a drama studio can receive money for performances - props, costumes, sound mixing works, and the scientific community can be financed to work in good laboratories, purchase supplies, etc.
In Russia, schools are just beginning to introduce a sufficient number of circles and sections, and very few of them are free. In America, the student always has a wide choice: they, without parents, determine interesting things for themselves and register in them at no extra charge. Sometimes mothers and fathers pay extra expenses (for example, a trip for a school choir to competitions), but, again, often these expenses are minimized by sponsors.
- Parents also have their own reputation and encouragement
The phrase "parent Committee" in Russia usually causes panic, everyone tends to stay away from it: in fact, it is a body for raising funds for the needs of the class.
In the United States, parental committees are important governing bodies; it is very honorable to be the chairman and even a simple member in it. Parents from the committees are included in city administrations, they know all the details of instruction and all students in person, they can influence global decision-making at school. At the end of each year, the director necessarily notes the merits of the parent committee - public and private - presents letters and commemorative awards to the whole team. Yes, the work in the committee takes a lot of time, because it is mainly occupied by non-working parents and housewives - however, this is not considered a “cure for boredom”, but is perceived as a real job, which must be done with enthusiasm and maximum dedication.
- A cold is not a reason to skip classes
To Russians, American children and parents seem either too careless or very seasoned. At + 5 + 8 degrees, you can easily meet a child without a hat or a warm scarf, while American children are sick no more than their Russian peers. Therefore, a slight runny nose, cough, and a temperature of up to 39 degrees are not a reason to skip classes: the called doctor will simply not write you a certificate for a legitimate “absenteeism”.
Of course, many of these features may surprise you or cause rejection - everything new for people is always perceived with caution. But this does not mean that people cannot look at outside experience, try to adopt successful solutions and advantageous features. In the modern globalized world, borders are increasingly blurred, so you should not turn your back on something new, which at first may seem strange, but in fact will be very useful.