January 8th was the first day of school. In Kenya, the new school year begins in January. For me, it was the first time to be on the other side of the desk, not as a student but as a…MOM! I was nervous.
As a current co-parent of 60 (soon to be 72) kids, I had a meeting with the school director to go over classes, transportation, tuition, and uniforms. With our new language acquisition program we are pulling the kids out of school before the scheduled end of the day and I wanted that transition to go as smoothly as it could. (Which has turned into me walking to school everyday to pick up kids until everyone knows the schedule! But you gotta do what you gotta do for your kids, amen?)
On the first day of school I arrived at 8:30am. I wanted to see if everyone had made it to their classes and more importantly, if the three students I’d identified as ready to skip a grade were being pulled out for their exams. It was a weird feeling for a former classroom teacher to be in a school on the first day. Kids, teachers, and parents were walking to-and-fro through the halls in that mixture of excitement and confusion prevalent on all first days. I was amused to realize that I could walk into every class and find a child of mine (perk of having so many!).
I located those who were to be tested for advancement and took them with me to the office. The director provided their exams and I took a seat in the hall to wait. What a new situation for me! I worked with these kids during the break. I knew how important it was to them, not only to be academically challenged but to take that step closer to the age appropriate grade level for which they are working so hard. Yet there was nothing more I could do. It was up to them to do their best. I couldn’t even be in the same room with them! That was really good. Moms really should wait in the hall. (Although I couldn’t keep myself from snapping the above picture)
They all passed. They were all promoted to a higher grade. I’m so proud.
Back at the homestead we are forging ahead with staff development, literacy lesson plans and training up the next group of academic leaders! They are taking to it quite well 🙂