If you are a parent or a student, and your first couple of weeks at the school hasn’t been quite as smooth as you hoped or expected, this entry is for you. Just please bear with me.
In recent days I have met dozens and dozens of new and returning students, and their parents. Over and over I have witnessed smiling faces, and heard happy comments. Students who are delighted to wear their uniforms, or be out on the rugby field, or get to know a room-mate in boarding. My wife, Joan and I, have invited all new parents to our house in the past ten days, and have had the chance to meet many of them, therefore. The phrases I have heard are music to my ears: we try to be organized and professional in welcoming people to the school, and try to anticipate information everyone might need, while knowing that you can’t absorb everything at once. So, sitting in my office at the end of the second week of school, I can feel that my colleagues on staff have done the job they are expected to do. I thank them for it.
What we want to be sensitive to, at this point, is that we may not have heard the whole story. Perhaps someone who is putting on a happy front is actually putting on a brave front instead, hoping they won’t be noticed, a brave front that belies some uncertainty or difficulty underneath. This is my opportunity to say that is just fine – such experiences are not unusual. The path of a child through school is rarely a smooth one, and try as we might the School is not perfect. So in this circumstance, if you are one whose first couple of weeks has been less than perfect, I encourage you to speak to someone and let us know. You can speak to the Director of the School your son or daughter attends, or a home room teacher, or the School counsellor, a coach – the list is long. If you are a student, you can speak to the same people. Go ahead – be brave. And then we can take it from there. We want to make everyone welcome for their stay at the school, and we also want the stay to be long, fulfilling and happy.