“First day of school! Wake up! Come on. First day of school.” – Finding Nemo
Getting set before the first day
This is how zestful, apprehensive and excited we all are for the first day of school! Every year, children all around the world are looking forward to the first day with anxiety and anticipation. Day one of a new school year is a big deal for children and their parents! There are a million crazy thoughts running through the parents’ and the child’s minds. The first day of school gets lots of ink for all that it means to a child: new rules, new friends and new teachers. There are adorably awkward pictures and introductions. For parents, the onset of this day brings tons of other things – new uniforms, bags, stationery books, etc., the list of things to do before school opens, seemingly endless.
For older children, the first day of middle school, high school, college – brings with it its own excitement and set of challenges.
Are these the only people affected with the ‘First day of School’ syndrome? I’d have to say – ‘No’. You may ask “Who else?” Well, none other than the most intrinsic features of a child’s education – the teachers and the school as a whole. It might sound surprising to others, but they too go through all these emotions.
Throughout the vacation, the school building gears up to welcome the students. The benches need to be the right size, the smart boards ready, the maintenance needs to be done in anticipation of the new school year. The admission dept. is in high gear as admission related processes – orientations, admissions, fees, guiding of parents through the process of uniforms, books, and various other nitty-gritties – all happen simultaneously. The teachers, who have already wrapped up their vacation, are back long before the school is to re-open. They have their trainings lined-up, year plans to work upon, lesson plans to be prepped, and, above all, the classes to be made welcoming. The emotions run high as the joy of waiting to see existing students move on to the next grade, the anxiety of separation and the excitement of what’s coming up next – all churn together in their minds. The rest of the staff busies itself handling new requirements; a lot of background work takes place with ID cards, IT set-up, security checks and maintenance.
The purpose of this entire frenetic activity is to create a welcoming atmosphere for all the students.
On the first day of the school!
In an innovative move, we asked the senior students to welcome the junior students and so it was, they were in the school before it re-opened. Thus senior students embarked on an exciting adventure to the welcome the juniors, where they prepared to give their new partners a glimpse into the school philosophy and the teaching methodology.
This day saw the senior students’ determined efforts welcoming the junior students. Their endeavors and hard work to ensure that they were doing all that they could to make the welcome special was touching to observe. Although they were anxious too, it did not affect their energy in preparing for the day. At the very moment when senior students were busy with their last minute preparations, the junior students were being greeted by NIS teachers and were then being escorted to their respective classrooms. Introductions and getting to know their teacher and peers was the first agenda for the day.
With the initial awkwardness out of the way, the class-teachers led their students to the auditorium. This was to be the first experience of the school assembly for all the students this year. This special assembly enabled students to experience a part of schooling unlike anything they were exposed to previously.
The assembly started with the school prayer followed by a warm and beautiful welcome from grade IX students. The students reminded their school mates of the ideals they were expected to inculcate in order to be sparkling citizens of the future, citizens who were Open minded Thinkers, Responsible Self-Learners, Confident Communicators, Knowledgeable Initiators, Compassionate Individuals and Reflective Leaders.
They then recited a beautiful poem “No Matter What Happens, Positive I’ll Stay”, penned by our very own charismatic Principal, Mrs. Vandana Arora. The poem exuded a passionate zeal for positive constructive mindsets. The younger students were then enthralled by the enthusiastic recitation of a Hindi poem by a grade IX student, which conveyed similar sentiments. To introduce the culture and environment at NIS, an iMovie was then played.
The compering was sure handled perfectly by the senior students as they asked every NISian to contribute to a list of Do’s and Don’ts’s that they would vow to adhere to in the future. It was a proud moment to hear these young voices speak up with a conviction that belied their age. The senior students had been self-assured, confident and responsible individuals and it seemed as if they were ready to take up the challenges that impending adulthood would bring to them.
The senior students became trendsetters and we saw a new generation of individuals, Global learners taking shape in NIS. They were focused, knew the goal they were reaching for, by seeing the end result. The NIS’s school philosophy was turning into reality as the senior students with the help of the teachers and HOD’s were creating an inspiring example of taking the lead for the junior students follow. They felt responsible for the juniors and did seem like they had won a special place in their audience’s heart. As Mike Stutman quoted “Every person who has changed the world has taken responsibility for something that mattered not just to them, but to mankind.” NIS was creating history and we were proud to see future global citizens taking that first step independently.
The welcome was culminated with the cheery voice of the principal ringing out a promise of wonderful times to come in the new school year and expecting great efforts in return.
The melodious singing of the National Anthem ended the assembly but heralded a new school year, inspiring everyone to give their best once more.
“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” – JK Rowling