Our elder daughter started her primary school today at a nearby public school. We were hoping for a memorable day. A day where the new Year 1 students would feel welcomed and the parents were assured that this was the school for their children. Was that so much to ask? Apparently, it was. The school was a bit disorganized, to put it lightly. There was nobody from the school to greet us when we reached school just after 7am. Nobody to tell us where to go and what to do with our kid. The school day was supposed to start at about 7:30am.
The parents and their kids ended up gathering around the school courtyard and, as our number grew, blocking the movement of some students, presumably, from Year 2 and above who seemed to know what to do as they lined up neatly in a number of rows in the courtyard. Finally, at about 7:30am, we were told to line our kids behind any of the existing rows of students. The school assembly would then start. The welcoming speeches were, well, not particularly welcoming but I don’t think the students paid much attention to them.
My wife and I were flabbergasted to see the haphazard organization of the school. This was the 1st day of school for crying out loud! A school is more than just for delivering lessons to kids. It is also about building a community. The poor management of the first day of school reflects badly not only on the the school staff but also the coordination among them, the existing students and their parents. Through the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), parents, teachers and students could have worked together to make the day unforgettable.
Are we are complaining too much? Perhaps. Let see how we as new parents in the PTA would deal with the first day of school next year. Actually, my kid was quite happy with the school. After all, she has got one of her best friends from preschool in the class. Maybe, kids deal with it better than us, parents. Maybe, we need to lighten up?