other people’s opinions and hearsay

As you’re getting more into this, it could be that you’re finding your feelings and opinions don’t match up with what you’re expecting, or what other people are thinking. That can be awesome and/or disconcerting. 


I remember being at the Beacon open house with my daughter. It sounded like the perfect school for her - artsy, creative, individualistic. A dear friend went there and assured us it was the place for Izzy. Halfway through the tour though, we looked each other, and said we both didn’t like the school at all. There were specific reasons. Their performance-based assessments were something she wasn’t comfortable with. And she likes tests as a concrete benchmark of where she was. We both felt strongly this wasn’t an option for her.  When we got outside and ran into just about everyone we’d ever met as fellow families in New York City (no kidding, you’ll often run into  people you haven’t seen since preschool), turns out we were the only ones who felt that way. Everyone else loved it! Thought it was fabulous! Was putting it as their first choice!! 

We walked to the subway trying to figure out what it was they saw that we obviously missed but eventually worked out that not every school fits for every kid. That can be a hard place to come to. 

When I went on the Beacon tour with my son, I was waiting on line with friends and a woman, who wasn’t a Tech parent, in front of me was telling a group of parents that she’d never send her daughter to Brooklyn Tech because of the drug problems. Meanwhile I was PTA president at the time and never heard the stories she was sharing. I went back and checked and found they weren’t true. But hearsay is a powerful thing and hearing negative input can sway your own opinions in this system that’s hard to find your footing in. 

There’s been great feedback in this group from parents with kids at some of these schools. Thank you folks! I’ll also say that everyone has different experiences. My son spent 2 horrible years at Tech before things improved but others dive right in and find their groove right away. 

Some will be energized by the competition at some schools and others will find it overwhelming. Some will be daunted by many fellow students, others will find that exciting. Some will be ok with limited sports, others need that outlet. Some will discover they’re interested in STEM subjects, others who might have thought they were will find they’re not (my daughter fits in this group). Some want a mellower school that doesn’t focus solely on intense academics, others want to take as many APs as possible. There are countless variables out there. 

Other people’s opinions and hearsay can be hard to avoid. I remember getting input from people who don’t live in NYC based on things they heard or read. Again, I’ll suggest taking all that with a grain of salt and work out what works best for your child.