First Day of Public Spanish School?

First Day of School – not Monday

So it’s Monday night, and I’ve filled out the (hopefully) last of the paperwork. Tomorrow, we’ll get up early (8AM is early for us), and turn it in. So after a good night’s rest, it’s 7:58, and Lars comes bounding in the bedroom. “It’s time to wake up! We need to turn in the paperwork so we can start on Wednesday.”

School Will Be Tomorrow

We all wake up, get ready, and head off to school. We go in to the school, and await our friendly administrator, but he’s not arrived yet. He comes in, takes the filled-out paperwork, and beckons us to sit down. We’re waiting a while, so Heidi suggests to Lars that he stick his head in, just to make sure he didn’t forget about us. He comes out and looks at us like, “What are you doing here?”

He then tells us that the kids should be in class. Uh…what?! Now?! No books, no backpacks, no snack, nothing? Lars is on this. Immediately, he’s says, “Yeah! I want to go!”. Anya on the other hand is not as optimistic…”I don’t want to go.”. It’s not a yell, but she’s not ready to go just like that. Hell, I’m not ready for her to go just like that.

This is what the First Day of School should look like!

We’re directed upstairs, and the Admissions Officer knocks on a door. A friendly looking teacher opens the door, and they converse briefly. Anya goes in, and the teacher asks her name. She says her name in Spanish, the teacher looks at us, smiles, the door is closed, and Anya’s gone. Just like that. Another classroom, and once again the Admissions Officer knocks, a teacher opens the door, Lars gives his name, and he’s gone too! Just like that.

I was not expecting this at all. In a matter of two minutes, both my kids are in school. Heidi didn’t prepare for this. I didn’t prepare for this, and we didn’t prepare the kids for this. All of the “starting a new school” memories come flooding back, and I am feeling very bad for my kids. I’m also worried that school officials will not be able to reach us if there’s an emergency (no phones yet)? Heidi is more calm and collected, and is less worried about it than I.

What Just Happened?!

We walk to the car (I’m still a bit stunned), and decide to open up a bank account. We do that, check out some mobile phones, and wait until it’s time to pick up the kids. We get to the school about 10 minutes early, and wait. The schools here are a bit different. Once school starts for the day, the gate to the schoolyard is closed/locked. While we’re waiting, we have to wait outside with the other parents. At 1:55, the gate door is opened, and parents are let inside.

Some parents seem to know where to go, while Heidi and I are trying to figure out where the kids will exit the building. At 2PM, the kids are let out. After a bit, I see Anya. She’s got a smile on her face, and she waves to me as she’s walking, and she’s got a handful of papers. I’m talking to her, and asking about her day. She hands me the papers, which includes a list of books/supplies.

I’ve still got an eye out for Lars, and I see him coming out a different door. I wave to him, and he sees me. He walks over to Heidi and I, and a small group of boys gather around. Lars indicates to me that these are some of his classmates, and rattles off their names. I say “Hola!”, and stick my fist out for a bump from one of the boys. He looks at me like I’m a bit nuts. With Lars as an example, I show what a fist bump looks like, and then do it to each of the boys. They kind of smile, and it dawns on me that I may have started a new trend in Almunecar!

Both kids are not overly excited, nor are they sad, but with the lack of food, and the unexpected school day, they are a bit more mellow than I expected. Over lunch, the kids filled us in on all of the details. They weren’t freaked out, so I was happy about that. 

Later that evening, Heidi took them to get some school supplies.  Hooray!

The kids shopping for school supplies.

Also later that evening, I interviewed them to get their impressions about the first day.  Let’s hope we’re off to a good great school year!

9 thoughts on “First Day of Public Spanish School?

  1. What a great story! I got a little teary-eyed when I read the part about the teacher opening the door, and then they were gone! Made me nervous for the kids and you guys too! Glad it all turned out ok and that the kids like their new school! 🙂

    • I must say the entire day we kept asking ourselves if we are horrible parents? Was it wrong of us not to coddle them and just ask if they can start the following day. It was strange. We thought for sure they were going to be cross with us at pick up, but that wasn’t even close. It was just like a normal day at school. The are adapting better than we thought.

  2. Sweet! Sometimes it’s better to just do it than to let the anxiety build up. I wonder if they’d let Caity and me spend a day at the school if we came during session. Being a teacher, I like to compare schools. It would be cool for Caity to experience a full day of true Spanish class. Her school day is 70% in Spanish.

    • Hi, I think they would let you. We met a family that moved here this year and they let the 10yr old girl go there for 3 days last year as trial, while she was visiting the area.

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