During the NYC preschool and kindergarten admissions process, when you speak to administrators about your child, you will inevitably be asked to describe him or her. You may be asked to provide an assessment of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. You should be honest.
Jenny Anderson of the NY Times asked three NYC private school consultants to give some advice to parents regarding this type of assessment. In all three responses, there was one theme.
Honesty doesn’t mean whitewash. It means be real. In other words, if your child is impatient, say so. If he is overly sensitive or hyperfocuses, say so. The private school administrators are not specifically looking for reasons to disqualify your child based on those weaknesses. They are looking to get to know her, and you.
Another thing they are looking for is compatibility. They want to figure out if their school is the best fit for your child and to have a diversity of personality strengths and weaknesses in a particular cohort. Maybe your child’s strengths or weaknesses aren’t a good fit for that private school or that particular cohort because they already have too many shy or assertive kids that year. Maybe his strengths or weaknesses are just what they are looking for to complete that cohort.
The admissions process is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible to bear either. And if you are honest about who your child is – both strengths and weakensses – then it won’t be.