You know the saying, ‘Never judge a book by its cover’? Well, when it comes to interviews, that’s exactly what you should expect. First impressions are often hard to break, so make sure you put your best dressed foot forward.
Go Smart but Comfortable
When it comes to dressing your toddler for the interview, remember, keeping things simple does go a long way. Avoid overdressing your child. Instead, make him wear something light, airy and comfortable clothing. Also avoid bright and gaudy colours or any glittery ornaments. This way, your child is likely to fidget a lot less. Tasneem says, “The most appropriate clothes for boys would be a shirt with full-length pants and closed shoes and for girls would be a knee-length dress with sleeves or a shirt with knee-length skirt with closed shoes.” She also adds, “Children do not need to wear any make-up and most definitely not for an interview. Their hair should be neat and clipped or tied if long. Boys should have neatly com bed hair and none of the strands coming on the forehead.” Many private schools require students to wear button-down shirts so don’t dress them in a t-shirt, for the interview. This might just come across as impolite and out-ofplace. If the school has a uniform, just dress your child in something similar.
While your child is the one that needs to make an impression, don’t forget that you’re on the school’s radar, too! You defi nitely need to keep a chack on what to wear. Dress yourself in simple, formal clothes with minimal jewellery. Tasneem advises, “Parents must dress in simple and comfortable attire. Bold prints, sequins, inappropriate slogan t-shirts, blingy jewellery and open toe shoes are a complete no-no.” She further continues, “Find out what the school dress code is, and be sure to dress in attire that is similar to what students wear. Also, keep your make up light and simple. For dads, going with a crisp and freshly-pressed shirt on formal trousers works perfectly.”
It helps to gauge your child’s abilities before enrolling him in a preschool. Whether he’s got a creative mind or a calculative mind does mean your choices for the best education get considerably narrowed down. Here’s what helps…
Your children are going to spend the maximum time at school as they start growing up. It is essential for parents to be vigilant and select the appropriate learning environment for their child. Tasneem advises, “Make sure you know some basic information about the school before the interview. Focus on the streams and extra-curricular activities the school offers. Speaking to ex-students and parents is the best way to conduct your research.” Enquire what will be asked during the interview and start preparing and your child, to make sure he doesn’t fumble and pass with flying colours.
Understand the Basic Learning Styles
Experts have roughly grouped different ways of learning into auditory, visual and kinesthetic. It is important for parents to observe their child. When parents are aware of their child’s capabilities, they can help their child learn more effectively. Select a school that will help polish your little one’s skills and will focus on his strengths and improve his weakness; a simple practice that will prove to be beneficial for his over-all growth.
How Child-friendly is the School
Tasneem says, “Consider all the factors to make sure you select the right school for your child. The distance from home to school, hygiene and safety measures followed by the school, the infrastructure, accessibility of teachers, mode of transport and more, have to be kept in mind by the parents.” She further adds, “When choosing the learning method, parents must see whether the curriculum gives equal weightage to other areas of development in a child. A method which uses play-way as a medium to teach is fruitful at a preschool level.”
Here are some things to keep in mind before your child’s first school interview:
Make a routine
Spend some time regularly with your child to teach him and prepare him for the interview. Divide his play time and study time judiciously. This could be tricky and will take some time for your toddler to adjust, but he will come around. Build a strong rapport with your little one.
The faculty will be judging your child’s communication, interaction, cognitive, motor and academic skills. Identify your child’s shortcomings and help polish up those aspect. Try incorporating his skills into his daily routine. By the time the admission process begins, your child will be prepared.
Do not stress
Tasneem says, “This goes for both parents and students. Admissions staff at private schools are familiar with the behavioural patterns and can identify a child on the brink of tears during the interview because his parents have given him a bit too much advice that morning. Rather, parents should give a tight hug to their child before the interview and remind him to be himself.”
Give your child credit
As much as you may think you’re helping your child prepare for the interview, you need to realise that it is a task for him to follow certain instructions. Encourage and praise your child for all his efforts. Perhaps, even rewarding him for a job well done, can go a long way. More importantly, never underestimate your child.
Make learning fun
Teaching does not necessarily have to happen indoors or in a closed room. Make it interesting for your child and time and again break from the mundane classroom teaching. Boost the learning process by helping him observe things outdoors such as the colours and alphabets in hoardings, certain words written on books or newspapers, and more. Make learning interactive so that both you and your child don’t get saturated, or worse, want to give up on the whole endeavour.
Fight away the shyness
Most children are timid and are less expressive in front of strangers. You do not want your child to freeze on the day of his interview. To overcome this hurdle, target his social interaction. Ask him to recite poetry in front of family and friends, encourage him to introduce himself or ask him to converse in English.
Remember, things are only as complicated as you make them. While admissions are indeed stressful, we think it’s best to take things as they come. After all, you learn to walk before you run, don’t you? Don’t hesitate to take those baby steps! MB