photo credit: lanuiop
Our discussion about the viability of listening on 5th grade girls’ private conversations in order to enable a better understanding of the “true” school environment continues in today’s post.
In essence, the original story is as follows: A parent wanting to test the environment of a NYC private school during a tour intentionally hid in the bathroom and listened to the students, who thought they were alone, to see what kind of things they really talked about. The parent’s reasoning was the school and students put their best foot forward during a tour, but a real understanding of what the school and the students were like would be truer if the students were out of the controlled atmosphere of the tour or open house.
Here are some of the reasons why such an idea may just not be the right one:
1. We have all heard some pretty interesting conversations while sitting somewhere like, say, a bathroom stall. Many people incorrectly assume that they are alone with a confidant in a public (or school) bathroom and speak openly. To go into such an environment with the actual intention to listen in on the conversations taking place is suspect, especially from a parent.
2. It is doubtful that a school administrator would look favorably on a parent going to such lengths to listen in on students.
3. Young children, especially in the middle school years of 5th to 8th grade, are still finding their own peer identity and will often “go along with the crowd” with whatever topic is being discusses, whether or not it reflects their true feelings.
There are better ways to talk to students about the environment at a potential private school.