Please read the School Diary – IV to get an understanding of Pari’s school life so far.
The very foundation of school life is based on trust, just like any other relationship. It is the bond of love and trust in the school staff that gives a young mind wings of aspiration, helping them soar high above the desire to be at home in the proximity of their parents.
When the initial exposure at school has been traumatic, the onward journey can be pretty daunting for a young mind. In our search for a new school for Pari, I had re-analysed my priorities and pushed the need of the school to be close to home to a comparatively less important slot. A friendly school with a caring staff was my top priority and perhaps the only one at that time.
After much discussion with other parents and grandparents about the best available schools in our area, we shortlisted two. One was a popular primary school and the second was a relatively new school, less known but had a positive feedback.
Both schools were around 5 km from where we live. We reached the popular one first. After initial formalities, we were comfortably seated in the principal’s office. The elderly principal greeted Pari, but my anxious child kept mum. A behavior that I would pass as normal for a 3-year-old, was taken differently by the school principal.
He at once asked me “Does your child have any problem?” I immediately brushed off his concerns saying Pari was feeling nervous in the new surroundings. But he wasn’t satisfied with my answer and decided to re-frame his question. This time around, he asked us “I want to know if your child has any disability.”
The question came like a severe blow leaving me too stunned to respond. My silence was taken as a ‘yes’ and then started the probing on my marital life and Pari’s health status. I couldn’t have kept quiet any longer. As a parent, I had to speak up. I had to clear the air no-matter what the outcome. That’s exactly what I did. In a firm yet polite tone I answered all his questions. There was no way the principal was ready to believe that a 3-year-old could be so shy to not warm up to him and begin talking. According to him kids of Pari’s age are pretty talkative and her being quiet definitely needed medical intervention.
The air was uncomfortable (for me) and I could hear an alarm ring loud in my head. This school was definitely not where I could possibly let my precious child study. The talk about my marital status or Pari being a special child wasn’t alone where my discomfort found its roots, because the elderly principal didn’t just stop at that. But, for the sake of sanity, I choose not to go into any further details.
We then visited the second school. This relatively new school was a pleasant contrast to the previous one. The school campus was many times smaller, yet full of happy faces, flowers and fresh air. The principal was a polite lady who was gentle with Pari and surprisingly managed to have her (Pari) warm up and open up to her almost instantly. No unusual questions (about intricate details of my married life, Pari’s father, etc.) were asked and I quite liked everything about this school.
This was how Pari found her present school. But, my journey of being amazed didn’t end at that. The loving, caring staff at Pari’s new school, made her look forward to going to school. Not a single day was spent crying and Pari was her happy, mischievous self all day. As a parent, I could see these as positive signs. In my heart I knew, this was the best school for my daughter.
Time moved on, Pari grew up to enjoy her time at school. She loved the dance classes, participating in every activity with enthusiasm was a clear sign, she had finally come to love her school life. However, Pari took a little longer than other kids of her class to pick up writing. We struggled with the standing, sleeping and slanting lines. Learning to write Hindi was tougher.
On one of the PTM (Parent Teacher Meetings) I expressed my concern to her class teacher and the principal of her school, regarding Pari’s writing skills. I was amazed by the calm composure of them both (I’d like to add that Pari’s class teacher is almost my age, on the younger side). They gently reassured me that Pari was a hard-working child and the school shall leave no stone unturned to help her learn to write well.
I knew it in my heart that Pari was indeed in good hands. Over time, I have seen my little angel learn to write beautifully, recite poems like never before, leave stage fright behind and emerge as a confident, bright child.
It’s again time for Pari to change school. But, this time, I am confident that the wonderful, confident start her current school gave her, will keep her going on in life with a smile.
Read about Pari’s life at school in my series – School Diary