As the school year began this week, we wished good luck to our students from gan through university. They are setting off on the road to another year of knowledge and experience-gathering.
Their job is actually very simple (according to their age groups) - sit in class with rapt attention, play or read or chat at recess, do the assignments and be ready to repeat it all for the next several months.
Parents on the other hand have to make sure the young/old scholar does his work (okay, say it't the student's responsibility and not the parents, but if the kids doesn't do it, it's the parents who are called in to school - so cut to the chase and make sure he does it), and help him when he needs it.
Parents of younger students have to make sure the kids have the right books packed in their knap sacks every day, that their assignment was tucked into the right folder (it's one thing to do the homework, the other is to make sure it makes its way to school), that the latest test paper is signed, and that there's a yummy nutritious lunch in the knapsack every morning to keep little Albert Einstein's motor running on high. These are not easy tasks, especially when there's more than one child who needs help with homework, who can't find the ribbon for her hair, who can't find his shoes, who forgot where he put his test paper, who is crying and doesn't want to go to school because his best friend says he's friend with someone else.
This morning I took my granddaughters to school. B"H, my oldest granddaughter brushed her own hair. I was running around like the dalmation at a fire drill trying to get everyone ready. I'd never have had time to brush her hair. My younger granddaughter sat on her chair quietly drinking her milk, while I made big sister a sandwich.
Praises to parents who can dress their kids neatly and cleanly amidst "My shoes hurt," "Not that shirt," "Where's my favorite belt", prepare nutritious lunches that the kids agree to eat ("no, not tuna", "ugh, not peanut butter", "no no not cheese", "fruit - uuu bluga bluga blug" - I think that means 'no'). And if the parents can actually get their children to school in time for the bus - oh my gosh - please call me and tell me how!!!!
In Praise of Teachers
When I brought in my younger granddaugter to gan, the two teachers had their hands full literally with crying children. And you know what? They were smiley and loving and sweet. "Come here, chamudi." "Don't cry, tzadika, we have surprises in gan today." "Come, delicious one, let's play with magnets." I think ganenot (preschool teachers) have more arms than regular people, because these smiley unfrazzled teachers seemed to be able to handle everyone.
My granddaughter was crying, "Don't leave me. I want to go with you." I almost cried. Her teacher came up to me calmly and sweetly, "Please leave her with me. Please believe me, she will stop crying as soon as you leave."
She lifted my granddaughter, along with the rest of the crowd and started pit-pattering around the preschool. I heard, "Savtaaaaaaaaaaaa!!"and then nothing. Calm in one second, thanks to the ganenet (preschool teacher). And they do this every day, and with the same smile and gentle disposition. Amazing!!
So, here's to parents and teachers. I think I didn't appreciate you or me enough, even when my children were younger and in school.
And here's to a successful school year with lots of learning, signed test papers, completed homework assignments and friends, fun and happy memories.