It goes without saying that a school tour is an essential part of the decision process in choosing a school for your child.
School tours vary from awesomely impressive to downright rubbish. Either way, the experience is essential.
Based on years of experience of accompanying parents on hundreds of school tours, here are our top five mistakes to avoid.
Mistake #1: Not being polite to EVERYONE
Parents are not always aware that it’s necessary to be polite to absolutely everyone, even a receptionist or janitor.
It’s best to assume that your every interaction with everyone in the school, be it a member of staff, a student or another parent is being observed and evaluated.
Sometimes, students and staff are asked to give feedback on the parents.
Mistake #2: Bringing your children
An invitation or confirmation email for a school visit will sometimes include some basic instructions about what to do/not to do, where to park, etc.
Some schools do specifically state that a tour/information session/seminar is not for children, yet parents still bring their children!
This shows a lack of respect for the school rules and is not a great start.
Even if no specific guidelines are included, we generally advise parents not to bring young children on tours and certainly not to seminars (even if allowed).
Mistake #3: Not making an effort
Even though a particular school may not be your top choice, attend with an open mind and make an effort to make a good impression.In case, you do apply to the school later on, you’ll be glad you did.
Be fully present during your time on campus.Turn off all devices and refrain from emailing/texting during your time on campus.
Bring a notebook and take notes!
The school has been good enough to spend valuable resources in conducting a tour; the least the parents can do is to demonstrate their interest in the school.
Mistake #4: Asking basic questions
If you were going for a job interview, you’d research the company first, wouldn’t you?
So, why do so many parents show up at schools and ask basic questions which are easily answered online?
Do NOT ask which curriculum the school uses, how much their tuition fees are, how many students in the school or any other basic question. Ask insightful questions and use the opportunity to make a good impression.
All information about international and private schools is freely available at www.topschools.hk
Mistake #5: Dressing inappropriately
It may not be required, but a suit and tie for dads and smart/smart-casual for ladies is what we advise. No jeans/flip-flops.
And, it’s already been said, no baby slings, buggies, etc!!