These past few weeks taught me a few hard lessons. I realized that not only should a parent choose a school for the wrong reasons, a parent should also NOT dismiss a school for the wrong reasons. This was the conversation I had with a friend of mine:
Mommy Friend: Tina, where can I send my son next school year?
Teacher Tina: Why not bring him to XYZ School (obviously fictitious)?
Mommy Friend: Oh, I don’t like it there..
Teacher Tina: Why?
Mommy Friend: I spoke to another friend and she doesn’t like it there.
Teacher Tina: Why not?
Mommy Friend: She spoke to another friend who didn’t like it….
Whoa! Wait wait wait. Let me stop the conversation at this point because the poor school is being misjudged by hearsay. In the 9 years that I’ve been a school administrator, only a few years back did I realize that I can’t please every parent. It’s just not possible. Schools may do their best in everything and still won’t be able to please everybody. But 1 thing I can say is that we can please MOST of the parents. So, hypothetically, what if my friend’s friend’s friend 🙂 spoke to that 1 irate parent of XYZ School? The school suddenly gets tainted with a bad reputation.
Studies show that a person would tell a good experience to less people than if the person experienced something bad. It’s human nature (to gripe, unfortunately).
Also, if you’re an unsatisfied parent, I suggest you inform the school of your issues. Most school administrators are very open to constructive criticism and if our goal is to improve not only the school but the education system, then your insight is crucial. When a parent posts a comment on this site about issues regarding their schools, I usually ask what their issues are. All of your issues are important and most of them are still “savable” — meaning, if told in the proper forum, may improve your child’s school life and improve the school as well. If you discuss issues only among yourselves, parents, then that’s not going to help.. it’s just simply, gossip.
So to continue with the conversation..
Teacher Tina: Why don’t you visit it first? I know the director and I know they have a genuine progressive curriculum.
Mommy Friend: You might be right. I’ll try passing by tomorrow.