How to make friends, get a job and influence your children’s future.
First Day at School.
Oh no, not my kids–my first day!
My kids don’t start for another few months, but today I started my first day at my (older) son’s new school. I approached the program director last week after the introduction day saying that I was a native English speaker and that I’d be happy to help the teachers out (they asked if there were any native English speakers).
She set up a meeting the following week with other staff and teachers and we talked about my potential role. First up was “Taaldorp” or “Language Village.” The kids need to practice their English in real life settings and the teachers needed help from native (or almost native) speakers to help act as members of a town where the kids were on holiday.
Raise your hand. Speak up. Be noticed. Take action. Get involved. Done.
A teacher sat next to me for the first few kids, but then I had the hang of it. The hardest part was grading. I felt quite unqualified (and uneasy!) to give these kids a grade that actually mattered for their studies. But with my intensive training (ha), I was handing out high marks for comprehension and “could be improved” for those who didn’t quite realize how funny they were when they asked for a “shoddy campsite for their camper” when they really wanted to be out of the sun.
So, let’s see. We’ve been in the country a week:
- Met one of Li’s teachers before school started,
- Got a “job” (loose term) as an assistant to the docents for the English language program,
- Will have a twice a week position in the school.
I get to know much better how this new school works so I can possibly help my son acclimatize. I already met some staff and teachers and one teacher who will have Li in her class next year said she’d keep an eye out for him and help him out if needed any extra help with the big transition and I feel like I’m needed somewhere and I have something to give, help and assist with.
I raised my hand. I approached the director of the program. I offered to help. I highlighted my expertise.
It’s a start, an inroads, it’s something to build on. I have a better idea of what’s going on, what’s coming and email addresses of people I wouldn’t know from the local baker. I also just increased the number of people I know in this country by 100%. It’s tiny, but it’s a start.
The journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step. Today was the first day of school.