Touring a new school

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Touring a new school

When you are on a tour of a school and looking for things in particular, I think, are the kids engaged? What does it look like on the average kids face? That's what you want to know when you are looking through the schools. The ones that are walking you around; they are the best. They are the best that the school has to offer and they are going to give you every answer and every answer you want to hear and your child is going to be exactly like that individual. However, that's not the normal kid. That is A, number one, of 600 kids, for us that would be. I want to talk to the kid who is walking in the hall. I want to talk to the kid that is walking towards the bathroom. I want to talk to the normal, everyday, Joe. That's the most important kid you should talk to on the tour. When I first started doing tours, I never knew what our kids were going to say. I was scared to death when walking a parent on a personal tour of the school because that's the last kid I want a parent to talk to. But as a parent and as a visitor, that is exactly the kid I want to talk to. What do they like about the school? What do they dislike about the school? What are their fears? What are their hopes? What are their dreams? They avoid you? Well, that's usually a sign that most kids aren't going to want to talk to you about anything. If they talk to you and engage you, a lot of those kids will. They are probably the ones that you're going to get the most information out of. The other thing that I would suggest is that when you are done with the tour and you're done, sit in the parking lot and watch. Watch how they transition classes. Watch what happens after school. Watch what happens at lunchtime. I've had people tell me, years later, that when they went and sat at lunchtime and watch how they interact at lunchtime. It gives you an idea of what the school personality is. Everybody has books. Everybody can educate your child. The question is: What is it that a school can offer you and your child that makes it different? That's going to be the environment. The environment is what is going to be most important for your child.

See Rob Kodama's video on Touring a new school...


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Rob Kodama

Director of Admissions & Marketing, Crespi Carmelite High School

Mr. Kodama has been a Certified Gurian Trainer since 2007. He is the Director of Admissions, Marketing, and Public Relations at Crespi Carmelite High School. He is also the head soccer coach and the Director of K-sports Soccer Camps. He has been involved in the educational field since 1991.  In his role as the Director of Admissions he has increased enrollment at Crespi Carmelite High School nearly 20% within his first five years. He has taught a revolutionary course called ”Becoming a Man” to seniors at Crespi Carmelite High School for the past eight years. In this innovative class, he challenges his students to look at what it truly means to become a man in our society. He explores what their roles are as sons, brothers, fathers, husbands, and mentors. He has presented this class at the Gurian Institute in Colorado Springs. He has served as the social studies department chair, and taught World Cultural Geography, US History, AP Macroeconomics, Micro Economics, and World History.

As a certified trainer and teacher, Mr. Kodama brings a wide variety of experience working with children, parents, students, and athletes. He has been training parents and schools about how boys and girls learn differently and how to help them succeed in school since 2007. He was recently the Keynote Speaker at Pierce College in Woodland Hills for the Early Childhood Development program. He has presented numerous times at The Gurian Summer Institute in Colorado Springs, and has worked with the following schools: Berkeley School, Crossroads Christian, Serra High School, Encino Presbyterian Children’s Center, St. Mel’s School, Kirk of the Valley School, Laurel Hall, Weekday Preschool, Young Oak Kim Academy, Our Lady of Malibu, Palma High School, and Army Navy Academy.

As a coach, he has worked with both boys and girls as young as four, through college. He has been running soccer camps, clinics, and coaching for over 20 years throughout the Los Angeles area. Many of his players have gone on to play at advanced levels of soccer.

He grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He is the youngest of five siblings, and is married and has a seven year-old son and six year-old daughter.

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