New session, new beginnings
A new year marks the beginning for everyone, and that includes the beginning of a new school session. Some will experience their first time going to school, or levelling up from kindergarten to primary, and primary to secondary. To these newbies, going to school can be a daunting experience, an unfamiliar territory.
New Sarawak Tribune managed to approach some parents to share their experience sending their child to school on the first day.
Nur Zaharah Mohd Nasir’s eldest son, Zill Qayyim Haq, had just started primary one this year. According to her, Zill was excited about school and even insisted his mother to iron his uniform the day before. “He said otherwise he would not have anything to wear to school,” she laughed.
On his first day at a new environment, Zaharah was nervous as she anticipates the morning trip. “I became somewhat emotional when he took the first step into the classroom and picked his seat. I did not want to leave him alone at first but then he told me to go back as he seems to enjoy being in school in the company of his friends.”
The 26-year-old Zaharah felt that it was heartwarming seeing her son all grown up and entering primary school. She also shared that Zill’s 5-year-old younger brother, however, did not do as well as his big brother. “The younger one would cry every time we send him to school!”
Meanwhile, Emillia Alen, 29 could not believe her eyes as her daughter had just entered kindergarten. “Time flies and in a flash, she is all grown up.” Just like Zaharah’s elder son, Emillia’s daughter is an independent one.
“Amani Faaeqa was good on the first day. She went into the classroom and got herself a chair to sit. Next thing I knew, she already made friends and mingled with the others. Her teacher informed me that she was doing great for the first day. I am so proud of her as she did not cry when we left.”
Before the first day of school, Emillia was nervous as she thinks about the schooling session that will occupy Amani’s time. She was also terrified of the thought that Amani might not be able to do everything independently, “Such as going to the toilet, or having her meal.” Hence, Emillia had prepared Amani days before, “on how to politely tell everyone especially the teachers when she needs to use the washroom and others.”
Emillia added that Amani was so happy and excited for school.
As for Kelly Kong, being the mother she is, she made sure that her 4-year-old son Ayden was well prepared for school.
“I had a mental note prepared — from uniforms, socks, school bag, black shoes, stationery, food and drink for break time and others.” She also sent Ayden to bed earlier the night before to make sure he would wake up early the next day, and not be late for school.
“Since he is entering a new school, I am excited and exhausted at the same time. I have to be mentally and physically fit to keep everything balanced, both work and family.” She had also prepared Ayden earlier by always reminding him that school is going to reopen soon, “in hopes that there is no fuss or crying on the first week.”
Nonetheless, Ayden had settled into the new environment perfectly and was super excited for school.
Teaching in a Chinese primary school, teacher Kenny Moses Beruin, 29, shared some insight pertaining to the first day of school.
In his sixth year teaching, Kenny described the many patterns he sees from his experience in school, “Kids nowadays are very different from the 90s or earlier. Those days, the first day in school for new students were almost always accompanied by screams and tears. But nowadays, this seldom happens.”
Kenny, who teaches Science and English, opined that it was because parents nowadays have more commitments, and different line of works, “so a lot of the kids were sent to pre-schools or daycare centres in a young age that it has, perhaps, became a norm for them.”
Through his observation, when school reopens, “Most of the ‘senior’ students will wear new clothes, have new bags and stationeries. Even the handwritings during the first few weeks of the new school term are neat.” Kenny also said that with the new year and new beginning, students often come in with a new learning spirit. “I wish they can continue it throughout the year.”
Being a teacher, Kenny disclosed that they are constantly busy from the start of the school semester until the end. Aside from teaching, Malaysian teachers are also required to run student-centred programmes from time to time such as extra curricular activities, language week, national day and so on.”
In between those activities, teachers also had to juggle with the academic performances of their students. “It can get stressful to handle many tasks at a time but as a teacher, I personally feel satisfied after conducting each one. Especially when it benefits the students, I felt like it is worth it even more!”