09/08/2014 12:53 pm ET Updated Aug 03, 2015

Creating Your Inspiration Board...for Schools

What words inspire a school choice?

Are you looking for a public school? Are you looking for a private school? Make a word bank of words that inspire you.

Keep a notebook at work or by your side and jot down an idea or word immediately so you don't forget. Here are some educational buzz words to get your brain started. Look at the two columns: Column A holds the educational concept word and Column B are the emotional and psychological traits that may be important to you. This is only a beginning for you to jump off.

Note: All of these words have multiple meaning but l have explained a few in parentheses where you might have questions. Have other questions? Email me.

  • Academic
  • Arts
  • Athletics
  • Community Service
  • College Placement
  • Diversity
  • Extra Curricular Activities
  • Tuition/Expense
  • Gender Based (Is this school only for the same sex; are certain classes designated for one sex only that the administration feels will enhance learning; is this kind of school what you want as parents?)
  • Global education
  • Languages
  • Preparation (What is involved in preparing for this school; is there an entrance test; specialized courses; interviews for child and parent; your preparation as a parent.)
  • Problem Solving (This is a current theme in education which focuses on the integration of different subjects. It may involve kids perhaps working in teams understanding a math problem or historical event and thinking through its relationship and meaning and then applying or relating it to the real world.)
  • Resources (This is a word that is used to aid teachers. What resources do they call upon -a science specialist, a learning specialist, a nutritionist to build wellness into the curriculum or Is it the extra curricular activities that are offered at each school.)
  • Safety (Broad based word that encompasses how the children enter the school to how they leave the school, to the playground, to the classroom. The implications of this word will be spelled out in the school's policies.)
  • Security
  • Student Body
  • Teachers (How many teachers per class; what are their credentials, how long have they been there, what kind of techniques do they implement? Teachers are the backbone of a school experience.)
  • Technology
  • Transportation
  • Character
  • Communication
  • Confidence (This word is critical to growth in a child. Whether small or big, a child needs to feel confident in his work, confident in his relationships with others and confident of his trust in his parents; thus confident in the individual self.)
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Experiences (Generally it means the experiences a child has in class or it can also infer a specific kind of experience: individual, tactile, sensory, interactive, social and/or emotional.)
  • Enthusiasm
  • Exposure
  • Family
  • Leaders
  • Mastery (Has multiple meanings but schools look for mastery in individual subject learning, mastery in certain milestones.)
  • Motivation
  • Religion
  • Peers
  • Values
These words and the ones you add will help you develop the important structure for your school research plan. This list may also guide you to evaluating your current school needs or critical elements in your child's learning.