So, the previous post to this blog mentioned decision day in reference to the day when schools let their prospects know the status of their application (The Good Thick Letter, or the Evil Thin Letter).

It’s personal for me now, as my daughter has applied for independent schools for the upcoming school year here in Baltimore. The market is very competitive, and the schools in this area have made a unified decision to notify families tomorrow, February 20th. What that means, then, is a long night of worry for my daughter, my wife and I.

However, I am choosing to look at things a little differently. I could worry about what happens. “Which schools will welcome her with open arms, and which, heaven forbid, will not?”

Those aren’t conversations I am willing to deal with tonight. Instead, I am going to focus on the best part the process: My daughter has actually built a relationship with both of the schools she is courting.

The fact that we are thinking of it as a relationship is vital. This isn’t just a decision for a day, a week, a month, or even a year. This is a 7-year commitment (hopefully) to tradition, camaraderie, laughter, tears and hard work. You wouldn’t choose anything else in life without building some sort of attachment, so why should schooling be any different.

The decision that we make about the school is about the relationship, as it is the school’s decision about us. What information have they collected about my daughter to let them make a great decision on her? Hopefully, they are tracking the data, looking at relevant indicators, and selecting a class that best fits the school’s needs. The final judgement comes straight from the decision tree: Data -> Intelligence -> Knowledge -> Wisdom.

So tonight, as she worries, and as my wife wears a hole in the carpet pacing the hours away, I am going to think about the teachers my daughter met, the great kids at the school who served as her hosts, and the admission staff who worked so hard to make her comfortable. The RELATIONSHIP.

That’s the work we celebrate tonight. And tomorrow, I hope we get to celebrate a little more.

So, what have you done to build relationships with your prospects?


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