Thursday, August 13, 2015

JATP Prep: Where Competition Breeds Ignorance

Ever since I've moved into the field of education, I've prepared clients for the process of JATP Admissions. Given the fact that I have years of experience consulting in different fields, education and the Admissions Process is an area that I am hauntingly familiar with. So why should I discuss what my competition does? Because it completely leaves me in a state of disbelief as to what some people call "PREP".

For the last few years, I've been the eyes and ears of the Atlanta public and private education community. I've seen the changes that have taken place since I've moved here and the only reason why I moved here instead of any other place was so that I could make a difference in education. (I did not know what area of education, but that is beside the point.)

As a result, I overhear horror stories from unfortunate parents before they come knocking on my door. There was one conversation that I had with a parent who told me that one "JATP Prepper" asked her and her child to visit her for a prepping session which consisted of half "conversation" and the other half, "Air Hockey". (I was trying to think to myself, what the justification was to this process and I had to just sigh for one second and told myself to - Stop!) There was another "JATP Prepper" who visited with clients at a neighborhood Buckhead cafe and after meeting with the clients son, appealed to the senses of the mother and said, "Oh bless your heart, your son has a chance at this great school in Buckhead" and never heard from her again. "JATP Prepper #3" calls herself the "Private School Whisperer" when you sign up with her. Oddly enough,  when she works with your child who looks as if they've come to this "office/home/basement" involuntarily, she turns into the "Private School Gossiper" calling each and every school on your list if you have done anything wrong (let alone pay your bill late).

It's rather daunting and disappointing for me; I'm not sure I know what angle some people feel is the best way to help parents and children with private school admissions. All I can say is for my standards, it's not professional. I've spent my entire life advising people and I'm fortunate that my father saw this potential when he told me,  "Whatever knowledge or power you have later in life, use it to help people".  No matter what, I make it a mission to help people through this process each and every year. When parents come see me in my office I give them the truth with nothing to hide. I ask them for confidentiality and I tell them that it goes both ways as I don't think it's appropriate that they know that their neighbor/friend/business partner is going through the same process. I do not share any of their information with other people because it is nobody's business but their own. I know that the JATP Admissions Council frowns upon this process but then, there are inequities in every part of this process. At least what I do is provide years of pedagogy/child psychology/performance and project management put to good use and give some parents in Atlanta a level playing field for their child to attend one of these schools. At the end of the day, all that matters is that child that comes to my office looking for a better education and knowing that I've done everything that I can to help.

So if you come to see me at Learning Ridge just know, I don't have an air hockey table, I won't ever say, "Bless your heart..." and last (but not least), you'll never hear me tell complete strangers who you are and what we did to make you and your children successful in their educational endeavors. Thank you for your time:)