*this is good info for that interview you may not have had yet!
What was it like the day you arrived for the indy school tour?
I was excited, as I am with every tour, to see how the children function in their school environments and also see the facilities. I was running late for traffic related reasons but nothing in me made me panic as I feel at home in indy schools, like I belong here (alum of boarding school), my son belongs here. Know what your family deserves.
Traveling through the rain for two hours was difficult, but it had to be done. If your late arrival is legitimate, just remain calm and carry on. I was made to feel quite welcome by the first administrator I met. His energy and welcoming spirit was everything I needed when I walked through the door.
What was the first thing that caught your attention once you settled into tour?
My tour guide was quite boring and if I didn’t know any better, I would have lost interest. She offered very little information and I had to pull information out of her. I didn’t get the sense that she was trying to sell us on attending the school. I think she feels that she’s making sure we don’t get lost and she is there to answer questions if we have any and that’s it. If you do happen to get a poor tour guide, look beyond their performance and focus on the school itself and the important questions that you need answered.
Did you have prepared questions? Did they change once you were on the tour?
Schools should always look to evolve and stay current. It is vital to always have questions prepared that are geared towards how they are integrating these trends into their curriculum. We have entered into a time when coding, programming and robotics are now a necessity. My questions are always geared towards these hot topics and what emerging technologies the school has invested in. Examples of questions are: When does school begin coding? Is there a robotics program/lab? When do you begin homework and projects?(most tour guides provide this information but be prepared as mine did not)
Question for teacher: Now that we have moved from STEM to STEAM, how do you combine this organically into the day?
Save questions specifically about your child for the parent interview. (just my advice)
What was your impression of other parents on tour? What sorts of questions did they ask?
The parents on the tour, their appearance and demeanor varied. Some came off as pretentious which is expected. Ignore it. After you’ve asked all of your pointed questions, they all want to shake your hand and keep in touch at the end of the tour. I have found that parents are mostly unprepared with questions when taking a tour. They’re doing a disservice to their child if their expectation is that all tour guides will provide them with all the information that they need without being questioned. Only one other couple asked questions aside from me and they were questions geared towards coding and technology.
How did you leave the tour? Were you more or less interested in the school?
I looked beyond my lack luster tour guide and paid attention to the school, the classrooms, the children and the answers to my questions. It is important that if the school offers informal settings to attend, that you participate. I am not any less interested because I know exactly what I’m looking for and the school did not disappoint.