There are people in difficult situations…and then there are difficult people! We all know people like this, those that seem determined to ‘get their way’ at any time, any place, at any cost. Now imagine these people as parents, applying their child to private school. At some point in the process, they show their true colors and within lies an admissions director’s dilemma.
Difficult, demanding parents are exasperating to teachers, coaches, school administrators, and other parents, for that matter. Private schools spend a great deal of time and energy dealing with these ‘troublemaker’ parents, so prospective parents who show any inkling of being high maintenance are considered carefully. Recognize that a school may be interested in your child, but your unbecoming behavior will certainly make them reconsider. The last thing schools want is to spend years dealing with difficult parents.
Recently, at an information session at a local private elementary/middle school, a mom in the audience monopolized the meeting by asking strings of detailed and inappropriate questions, for example; ‘why did the music teacher leave the school?’, ‘where did she go?’, ‘what is the name of the admissions test?’, ‘what kind of test is it and can you prepare for it?’, ‘should my son ‘guess’ on the admissions test?’, ‘does anyone read the recommendations that the 8th-grade teachers send to high schools to see if what they said is positive?’, and more. After a particularly lengthy exchange about whether or not the conduct grade counts towards high honor roll or honor roll, an exasperated dad blurted out ‘if your kid causes trouble he shouldn’t go here.’ Hurray!
One or two of these questions might have been appropriate for the setting, and let me emphasize might, but the multitude and often challenging nature of the inquiries about the school’s policies were off-putting at best. Thankfully, situations like this are pretty rare, but it does serve as a reminder to think about the impression you are making when you tour the school, have your parent interview, or phone to ask a question. Be respectful of the people and the process!
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