01 September, 2008

The First Week of Primary School .....

As I type this post out now, my mind keeps going back by a week.

Exactly a week back, around this time, I was making my way back home from school, having dropped Abhay off for his first day of Primary School.

Yes – it has been one week of Primary schooling and quite a bit has indeed happened.

There have been quite some tears shed, there have been moments of fun, there have been the beginnings of new friendships, there have been tiffs, there have been complaints, there have been new avenues to explore …….. all of these and many many more.

The second day of school, Tuesday, saw a very nervous Abhay waiting for the school bus to ply him to school.
“What if I get lost ?” “After I get off the bus what if I don’t know how to get to my class ?” “What if I end up going to the wrong classroom ?” were the questions uppermost on his mind on Tuesday. Exercising every bit of self-control that can possibly be exercised, to stop myself from hopping into the bus right after him, I told him that he would manage just fine. “You’ll find your way sweetie. I know you can and that you will.”. After seeing a rather dubious and nervous Abhay off on the school bus, a equally nervous me, my head filled and floating with “what if’s” of all shapes and sizes, made my way back home from the podium of our apartment complex.

On speaking to a couple of other moms who had been on the school bus with their kids the second day too, we were given to understand that he had gotten off the bus when it reached school and did not wait for anyone to hold his hand or show him the way. He had walked ahead by himself and found his classroom and knew exactly what needed to be done. Lunch box into the big red lunch basket, snack box into the big blue snack basket and the fruit snack box into the big fruit snack basket. Waterbottle on top of the ledge, the summer hat slung over the water bottle on the ledge. Book bag into the big “book bag and diary” basket and finally, the school bag hung over the peg.

Apparently, making his way to his classroom all by himself had boosted his self-confidence quite a bit. Hence, later that morning, he excused himself to go to the loo and while on his way back to the classroom, decided to do some snooping around inside the school campus because he wanted to see “what was on the other side of the building”. Needless to say, Mr.E was quite lost inside the school campus. “What did you do then ?” I asked him. “I started to cry” came the defiant reply. “OK. But did you just stand there and cry ?” I asked. “I saw a Aunty with big glasses standing in the corner. So I went and told her that I’d lost my teacher. She asked me who my teacher was and when I told her my class, she helped me get back to the classroom. And after I reached my classroom, I took a tissue and wiped my eyes”. came the reply.

Probably a one-off incident, I thought. Proved wrong the very next day when he decided to go off gallivanting on his own to the school library. He has been eyeing the library for a while now and even during the vacations was seen peppering Appu with questions for a great deal for information about the library. Apparently, the luscious sight of a huge treasure trove of books proved quite too much and off he went, to the library. “The librarian told me that we’re not supposed to go to the library now.” he said, later on in the evening.

There have been tears on couple of other occasions too when he thought his teacher had suddenly gone AWOL. There was a huge crying session when he thought he had forgotten to carry his summer hat to school and had to sit out on the picnic table while the other kids played in the sun. Atleast so far, he files his “tears at school” report very diligently, once back home.

He quite loves the music sessions. Of late, humming something or the other had become a habit with him and now with a music teacher, that habit is being reinforced. And yes, it does help a great deal that his music teacher “is a girl teacher and she has long golden hair”. And it also helps tremendously that it is their music teacher who takes their “drama” sessions. Yes ! They have Drama as a part of their curriculum. Though honestly, kids nowadays don't really need "lessons in Drama". Drama is something that comes to them, rather naturally !!! :D

Mandarin (Putonghua) absolutely has him tickled pink and yesterday he found a book which had two Chinese characters on the cover page. Very confidently he walked up to us and said “Look at these. That is Ni Hao (Hello. How are you ?) in Chinese”. Needless to say, I fell for it - Hook Line and Sinker. And later on, felt like the biggest dolt on earth when Appu looked at the same Chinese characters later and said “I don’t know what these are. But whatever they are, they sure are not Ni Hao”.

The kids have already been assigned their tables and in all probability, serious studies would be commencing today. He is heard mentioning a lot of kids’ names too but the two names that keep popping up are Aleena and Caroline. “They are my friends and mummy – they are both girls” he added, rather helpfully, just in case Mommy had difficulty figuring that one out. You never know with Mommies !! They can be rather dense at times !!

P.E and Sport is a different story altogether. “P.E is eeeeeeewwwwwwww difficult. I get so tired.” is a oft heard complaint. Appu has also plied him information to the effect that they will be taught sports like soccer and rugby later on. When he was watching snippets of some rugby match on TV, his eyes almost popped out of his head. It was not very difficult to imagine what was going through that head of his. Given his rather puny physical stature, one could easily use him as a substitute for the rugby ball !! :D

We have a Parents-Teacher meeting to attend tomorrow – an informal session where all parents get to meet the teacher and are briefed on the daily routines at school as also the scope of study and the subjects that will be covered in Term One.

All in all, it has been a rather interesting first week of Primary School. Remains to be seen as to how it progresses.

To end this post with a picture …. here’s one of Mr.E wearing his P.E uniform for the first time, sporting his House Colors.

Stay tuned for more updates .....

post signature

13 voice(s) said so:

Aditi's Album said...

This post made me nostalgic. The first day in every year of school was fun - we had to find our classrooms and many kids would get lost. There would be lots of confusion and once when we remained in the same classroom for Class 8 and Class 9 - the other kids taught we had all failed Class 8. Oh what fun we had in those days. wish these kids enjoy as well as we did.

Kodi's Mom said...

aww Gauri. reading this evoked such emotions of tenderness and pride. and in this post, I can see a combination of restraint and an urge to be with him all the time. good luck to Abhay and to you!

Preethi said...

Abhay seems to be having a lot of fun in the primary school.. venturing to check out the premises was so cute!! Poor guy, must have been so disappointed to be told he couldn't use the library!! Awesome post.. and the toothy grin in the pic.. is so cute!! Keep them coming!!

Keshi said...

Wonderful journey of a child begins...and beautifully narrated by u!


Gauri said...

Aditi's Album : :) was in splits trying to imagine a whole class failing a year !! :)

Kodi's Mom : Thanks dear :)

Preethi : Oh yeah ! he was mighty disappointed about not being able to get his hands on all those books. "Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink" kind of situation :)

Keshi : Thank you :)

Mama - Mia said...

wow!! so much happened in pne little week to one little BIG boy!! :)

your kids are so gonna LOVE you for this blog!!



starry nights said...

Made me smile thinking of the time when my kids first day of school.loved this post and your kids are so cute.

Neera said...

Wow Gauri ..Abhay is such an awesome child. I can see how sincerely he must be repeating all those instructions to put what where in his little mind to get it all correct on the second day itself. Requires a lot of focus but i can see he has the genes :)
And quite brave and adventurous as well - going off to check out the school :)
So many traits of his personality shine thru in this wonderfully written post!

Gauri said...

Abha : :) Thanks, dear.

Starry : Thanks :). So nice to see you here :) Been a while - do keep visiting.

Neera : Thanks dear.

Suma said...

i so relate to everything here, esp since my lil one is a month short of his 6th b'day...

exploring the premises in his first week of school? ...filing his tears at school report..awww...

i loved reading this...and to know another parent who thinks about all those what-ifs in her head :)

Priyanka said...

He looks so cute in his uniform. Thats so cool that they get to learn chinese and drama. I have heard kids in the US also complain about going to PE class, I wonder why. What exactly are kids made to do in that class? In India, we just played different games like hockey, throwball etc.

Rohini said...

Is it okay for him to go wandering off by himself? Or a I still thinking in the shoes of a 3-year old's mom?

Gauri said...

Suma : Yes :). those "tears" reports are still being filed rather diligently, if tear sessions have happened :).

Priyanka : PE sessions - I guess it just gets terribly tiring for the kids. It is more like gym stuff - cartwheels etc etc... Funny part is - they enjoy sport sessions but complain about the PE sessions :)

Ro : They do encourage children to be inquisitive at their school. An any given point of time, one can see children going up and down the stairs looking for teachers or the nurse or the librarian. The school office is right near the entrance, so is the PTA office - so they keep an eye on the entrance to make sure kids don't wander out. Inside the school premises, it is perfectly fine for them to be up and about :).