yes, bapak is not the only one walking around with a management planner. khaleef has one too – well, a student planner, that is. very, very useful!
the student planner contains a comprehensive detail on the school’s rules and regulations, guidelines for younger students in foundation stage (like khaleef).
some of the items mentioned :
- parents are asked to label their kids’ uniforms, bags and food container
- provide extra sets of clothes (in case of emergency!)
- provide an ‘art apron’ – in the form of daddy’s old t-shirt! how cute is that – a bunch of kids in their daddy’s oversized t-shirts!
- khaleef usually brings either sandwiches, croissants, biscuits or sometimes cucur manis to school – there’s also a guideline on what NOT to bring, for example anything with peanuts, for fear of any allergic reaction
the first page opens up to the national anthem of uae! but it’s in arabic, so i haven’t quite figure out yet what the lines mean…
the planner also lists out useful websites that the kids can browse and play interactively, as well as the weekly planner that marks all the important events, activities and school holidays.
there’s also a list of letters, sounds and words that the kids learn day by day in school. this is to encourage parents to participate in their kids’ learning experience at home. i can go through them, or ask khaleef to tell me which ‘sounds’ he learns that particular day.
there’s also some tips for parents to support their kids in their learning to read and write.
- let them hear how language is put together in a sentence, so mak and bapak must speak in complete sentences too!
- learn in everyday life – whether at the grocery, while waiting for the doctor or in the car – read the labels, signage or street signs around you. you can also ask your kids to spot letters that they know
- reading together – it builds the kid’s interest in books, and widen their vocabulary. books with pictures can be used to enhance communication skills, as you ask them to observe the pictures and tell you what they see
- do lots of activities with brushes and crayons to enhance their motor skills and practice their grip needed for writing
there’s also pages with tables labelled ‘money record’, ‘injury record’ and ‘absence record’. these all seemed pretty organized down to the dates and signatures – to avoid any misunderstanding later on.
…and the most important reason of all for khaleef to have this planner, is the ‘parent-teacher communication’ pages. in fact, 80% of the pages in the book is allocated for this purpose.
khaleef brings home the planner everyday and i have to give it a quick check for any note from his teacher :
for example, the other day when khaleef was sniffling, i sent him off to school with a white jacket. later he came back from school with this note, ‘dear parents, please buy the school jacket for khaleef. wearing any other jacket is not allowed,’ signed by his class teacher.
i was supposed to reply with something like, ‘dear miss m, noted. will do the necessary’ – or something like that.
i’m guessing that if khaleef needed to bring a traditional costume for an activity, or maybe he spilled his juice and dirtied his school uniform – the teacher will scribble a note for our information. also, if (or when) khaleef is particularly naughty! i hope not!
of course, if there’s an official note like school concert or invitation to a sports event, khaleef will be given a printed letter for the parents – but this parent-teacher handwritten-note-thing does make it personal and therefore gets a personal attention as well.
* * *
later this afternoon, mr. khairul and i will be going to khaleef’s school for the ‘settling-in parents consultation’ with khaleef’s class teacher.
i hope she not only has good things to say (if ONLY good things, it usually means the teacher doesn’t have anything extra to say about khaleef; thus khaleef doesn’t really shine or stands out from the crowd) but also personal observations like how he always like to jump and pretends he’s spiderman or that he needs to brush up on his ‘s’ pronounciation – specific things like that.
my first parent-teacher meeting. this is gonna be fun!