About the first day at school

first-day-of-school

She says, by @mammapolitico

The toilets smelt weird but were amazing, because they were the right size and everything! There were new packets of Crayola crayons, a tray with my name on and hard plastic chairs. The hall and dining room were big and echoey and smelt of wax floor polish. I was tired and a bit stressy because there were loads of strange faces.

I’m sat here pulling from the recesses of my mind, my memories of my first day at school. It’s not easy. Little fragments of events pop out at me. Its a bit like looking into a kaleidoscope.

I remember the little girl though. She had mean eyes. I wanted to go into the Wendy House to use the little iron and the pretend washing machine. It was the place to be. My five year old self had sussed that out shortly after arrival in the classroom.That was where the fun was at. I’d headed over, all sweet and innocent, a little bit shy, but never in a million years expecting what happened next. I tried to open the door. She held on tight and peered at me with her mean eyes, through the little window in the door. She was knee high to a grasshopper, as was I, but she was determined the Wendy House was off limits to poor little me. I remember not knowing what to think. Was the door stuck? I pulled on the handle. She pulled harder on the handle. The handle came off in her hand. Our new teacher came bustling over demanding to know who had done what. As the teacher’s “I am quite a lot cross, but it is your first day so I’ll go easy voice” asked for answers, the floodgates opened. I cried like I had never cried before. I ended up sat in the comfy chair in the reading corner, as the teacher cuddled me and tried to convince me that I didn’t want to go home and never come back. An enemy was made though. I remember the mean girl sat in the naughty corner, glaring at me – if looks could kill. She turned out to be the school bully. I learnt quickly to keep well out her way. Eventually she moved to another school. Her parents were asked to remove her as, amongst other things, on rainy days she had a nasty habit of trying to force feed little kids the worms she collected from the playground.

The first day of full time school looms for lots of families. Mums and Dads will be panicking, excited and sad in equal measures as the start of the school year draws nearer.

I’ve been a primary teacher and taught Reception Class. I’m happy to report that mean kids are the rare exception, not the rule. The children are nervous, but I can assure you the teacher will be too. It’s a baptism of fire for children and teachers on the first day of school. Good teachers feel a massive sense of responsibility to make sure those little people get a fantastic first experience of school. By Christmas it will feel like school has been part of your family routine forever. You’ll ask your child what they have done today and they won’t even be able to remember. ‘Just stuff “ they’ll say. That will be a good sign – school days will be here to stay.

Wishing all new starters and their families the very best of luck for September.

***

He says, by @ADadCalledSpen

I don’t remember my first days at primary school. Dunno why. Must’ve been drunk.

But I do remember my first day at secondary school. Getting dressed into my school uniform, and getting on the bus with my mum. Going into the building and being greeted by a teacher who said to my mum ‘Ohhhh don’t look so scared. We don’t eat them you know!’

Dunno how true that was actually as a couple of children did start in my form, and then, after a week, never appeared again.

We got a tour of the school and sat down in assembly. The teachers all looked fearsome. Even the women. Especially the women, The headmaster welcomed us all and made a speech about diligence, school traditions, and the importance of working hard. And rugby.

The rest was a bit of a blur. We were assigned to our forms, met our yearmaster and form tutor and went to our form room. I guess this would be our home for the next few years. We sat in alphabetical order and I was astonished to find someone in the same form with the same first name as me. I’d never met another Spencer before. It was a rare name non? But here our name was as common as muck. So, I would be referred to by my surname as would the other lad. Great. My surname isn’t embarrassing at all. FML sideways I would’ve thought, if I wasn’t too busy SHITTING myself at this prospect.

Oh god. The toilets. Do I actually have to go to the toilets here? I’ve heard the big boys flush your head down the lavatory. It’s cool. I don’t need to urinate for 5 or so years. I’ll live.

Oh god. And THE WALL! I’ve heard bigger boys throw the new kids over The Wall. Oh my god! Where is The Wall. How big is The Wall? WILL I BE KILLED BY THE WALL?

Somehow lunchtime happened and we went into the school hall. I sat next to two boys who would become firm friends throughout my school days and beyond into adulthood. I remember one telling me how lovely the food was. ‘This is GREAT’ he said tucking into a jam sponge pudding with custard.

I wasn’t really hungry. I was thinking about The Wall and the toilets.

The first day at school just kinda happened. The Wall, by the way, was 8 inches high and a few months later, walking along to French, I accidentally fell off it while moving round a group of children, and busted my ankle. Like some sort of tit.

No-one flushed my head down the toilet. On the last day of school I was tempted to do it myself just because, but that would’ve been silly.

It happened and I went on to do well at school. Did I enjoy it? Mostly. I worked hard and I was popular. I just got on with it really. As you do. I think I was lucky. Not everyone thrived in this environment.

Especially those two children who got eaten.

***

Thanks for reading and please leave your comments and thoughts in our comments box. What are your memories of your first day at school?

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8 thoughts on “About the first day at school

    • @ADadCalledSpen says: I’m sorry to hear that. And I bet you’re nervous as it doesn’t sound like you had the greatest memories of school. Bullying is unacceptable, in any form, and I hope Jackson has fun at school.

    • Try not to worry – most kids Jackson will meet will be lovely and teachers are very good at helping new starters to settle in. Look at is this way – Jackson is about to make new friends – some of which could be friends of his for life. Wishing you both a happy start to school x

  1. Spencer high school sounded the same fir me too meet all kids in dinner hall then off to form rooms then the fun if high school began, tbh I wasn’t bullied nor was I a swat i hung out with kids all along the high school kid spectrum, I remember my 1st day at reception too all I wanted to do was go off and play all my mum wanted to do was stress and cry lol a lady comforted her who went on to be a vry good family friend strange how friendships are made ah.

  2. That’s a side to starting school that gets overlooked. It’s hard for the Mums and Dads too. I remember sitting in my car crying when my eldest started school. It felt all wrong that she wasn’t with me all day. Now fast forward 2013 I can’t wait to send her back for her last year at school. Time flies – we should make the most of it.

  3. Great post and very reassuring to parents whose kids are starting school and starting secondary. My son started secondary last year and I was more nervous than him. Having had three kids start primary, it seems strange to me now that people would worry. But it’s the fear of the unknown of course.
    Oh, and I don’t remember my first day at school!

  4. Gosh, that is just far too long ago to remember, even trying to remember my first day of high school is pretty impossible. I do remember the first day of school for my children though, 2 out of the 3 wanted to be there, while the teenage boy just wanted to stay with mom forever.

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