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 think to myself -- at least 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 teachers were called 'Miss' — stops me at the gate. 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 don't remember learning. However, I must have done so -- to now be who I am. I certainly read well and can add without a calculator (or at least that's what I tell the children).
School days were some of most joyful, filled with mysteries to solve and points-of-view to resolve. There were the many friends. We'd to talk endlessly and play games over silly things — 'silly things?' — never! 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
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 also knew everyone in my school by name. And years later 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 -- never with shoes of course. (and no Grandad you didn't put your feet in the poo to warm them up!) The best part was 'the exchange of lunch boxes'. Usually we liked each other's lunch more 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. I don't remember having school picnic's, although we had them—because Mum was always dropping baking into 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's more than just jungle gym and classrooms. It's greater than the sum of its parts. Its about people. The connections you make and get to keep.
Just imagine if I'd left school after morning tea? Just imagine all that I would have missed out on.
Now as a proud parent, I tell my children more happens at Wairakei Primary School after morning tea. A lifetime more - and no they don't have to warm their feet Grandads way!