Monday, September 9, 2013

Starting Public School

Last week, my oldest daughter started her first day of public school.  There was much excitement and anticipation the night before.  The actual day did not disappoint and was filled with shouts of glee and boundless energy.

“Mommy, you can leave now,” she announced to me when she got to her bus stop and was surrounded by other kids from kindergarten to sixth grade.  It was a small crowd of eleven or so and the parents gathered in front to take bus stop photos.  I was a little nervous for her because I remember my own bus experience as a first grader and missing my stop coming home.  My mom had to run after the bus and pick me up at the next bus stop, which thankfully, was only 1 or 2 blocks away.  I was glad to discover that another little girl would be taking the same bus with my daughter and would even be in her same class.

Sending my daughter to public school reminded me of my own experience growing up.  I actually really loved school and going back to school after summer vacation was always a favorite time of year for me.  It was fun to discover who my teacher was going to be and which new classmates were going to be in my class.  However, it had its challenges, especially during the early elementary years because English was not my first language.  

As I attend these back to school welcome meetings and navigate through my daughter’s school computer site, I am struck by how much more challenging this must have been for my own parents when they had to send me to school for the first time.  Well, they did not have emails and websites back then that they had to log onto for information, however, I’m sure they still had to figure out how to get me to school and what I needed on the first day.  Being immigrants from Taiwan, my parents understood the English language some, but were nowhere near fluent in speaking.   

So this post is a “shout out” to my parents and to all immigrant parents out there who place value in education and sacrifice time, energy, money, and comfort… etc to get their kids through school!  Despite the disadvantages of not having fluent English speaking parents who were heavily involved with school or could help me with homework every night…(except for math.. they were brilliant with math)… I think I turned out okay =)