Back to school | 1st day of Maternelle

What an emotion filled week! I can’t count how many tears I’ve shed or how many times I had to pick up the shattered pieces of my broken heart. Also, I can’t count how many times I felt total exaltation and an immense sentiment of pride because my little boy is officially a pre-schooler.

Cheering him up as we were walking to his class, but feeling so sad to leave him
Cheering him up as we were walking to his class, but feeling so sad to leave him

All in all, the 1st day went well and I believe we’ll have an awesome year. Although I can’t really compare our experience to other school systems, I was very impressed with the entire organization of the school.

Briefly, this is how our day went:

  1. About 2 months prior, the school sent us a piece of written communication containing a list of things to bring, the time and date of the school opening, where to go, etc.
  2. As we arrived, Paul’s teacher welcomed us and showed us where we could deposit/hang our things.

    This is where we hang Paul's backpack and jaket before entering the classroom
    This is where we hang Paul’s backpack and jaket before entering the classroom
  3. In case the teacher omitted any information, we had a whole list of directions/suggestions posted at the entrance of the classroom. (being that it was handwritten, made it more personal)

    Things to read while your child is holding on to you like a monkey to his mommy
    Things to read while your child is holding on to you like a monkey to his mommy
  4. On the first day, we were exceptionally allowed into the classroom, so we stayed with Paul for about 30 minutes. We were encouraged to roam around the entire classroom, to show our child the bathroom and to play. The setup of the classroom is similar to the one we have at home, comprising of stations (for reading, for playing with cars, for resting, etc).
  5. Paul was happy to find a corner for animals
    Paul was happy to find a corner for animals

    Maternelle classroom
    Maternelle classroom
    1. One particularity of the French school system is that classes run on Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday. Wednesdays are off. Also, classes start at 8:45 a.m until 11:45 a.m. and resume at 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. (with the option of picking up your child for lunch or letting your child eat at the cafeteria).
  6. There are 23 students in Paul’s classroom and to ease up the 1st day, they split them into two groups. With all that, tears and little crisis were inevitable.
    Paul timidly whispering to daddy :
    Paul timidly whispering to daddy : “Don’t leave me here” 😦
    Paul doesn't want to let go of his momy
    Paul doesn’t want to let go of his momy

    I’m so looking forward to growing, discovering, learning and experiencing new things this year. As Paul develops his speech, I am glad that this time around I get actual answers to “How was today? What did you eat at lunch? Did you take nap?” when I pick him up from school. Also, I find it darn adorable that he is starting to socialize and make little friends (so looking forward to play dates).

Happy new school year, everybody! 🙂

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