The POWER of my place
As a parent now, sending my child to school, I know what I want for them. I vividly remember my first day at school—all 90 minutes of it. Morning tea and everyone up and leaves. So school's finished then. Not too tough, I thought to myself--not as bad as I'd been lead to believe. My education complete, as far as I was concerned. Bag on my back I head for home.
Miss—then all my teacher's were called 'Miss'—stops me at the gate. Well, it turns out there was just a little more to go. Just a little bit more.
My school days have the memories that I cherish and treasure for life. I do not remember learning, however, I must surely have done so -- to be who I am. I certainly read well and can add without a calculator. School days were the most joyful and filled with many mysteries to solve and things to resolve. I had many friends. We used to talk endlessly and play games over silly things. I had two best friends. They were very nice and loyal to me. Every teacher in my school knew me by name and liked us, although shamefully I accept we weren't always perfectly behaved. I too knew everyone in my school by name. And eventually I discovered not every teacher was called 'Miss'.
We used to play our own made–up games and do 'stuff' for fun. My schooling was indeed really amazing and simple. We found fun in subtle yet beautiful things. We climbed trees, built forts in the gully, jumped over things and ran everywhere--without shoes of course. The most exciting part used to be 'the exchange of lunch boxes'. Usually me and my best friend liked each other's lunch and soon exchanged lunches daily—except on buying my own lunch day.
I was doubled on the bike to the bus stop. Dry, wet or bitterly cold. We sometimes used to break ice in the rain puddles--although I never wanted to put my feet into a warm cow pat like Dad told me. I don't remember having school picnic's, although we had them—because Mum was always dropping baking in the staffroom.
I do remember the highlight of my year was Pet Day. I remember proudly leading my lamb 'Stewart Little' around the ring and the third equal ribbon I came home with. Those who didn't have pets, were in competitions for cooking, sewing and flower arranging also the special part of Pet Day.
Since my childhood, it's fair to say that a lot of the memories of my early life are made at school. A school is more than just jungle gym, equipment and classrooms. It is greater than the sum of its parts. It is about the people. The connection you make and get to keep. If I had left school after morning tea, just imagine all that I would have missed out on.
Now as a proud parent, I must make sure I tell my child more happens at Wairakei Primary School after morning tea. A lifetime more