Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rev.Sr.Marian's Humour

We were returning from the school building after the children went to their respective classrooms, when we happened upon the head-mistress Sr.Marian. We struck a note with her concerning education for the boys, which the school had upto the 1st Standard. While we discussed about interviews for the little children held by the educational institutions, Sr.Marian gave us a very humorous and rare insight from her vast experience of 30yrs.

Why Interviews for the little ones?
Parent: Sister, when our boys go for admission we are quite scared about the interviews they hold.
Sr.Marian : You don't understand. It is only to test their eyesight.

At this we parents laughed so much as we were taken by surprise that it is not to test the skills of the little ones, but to really see if they can see, hear and have a concept about things in general.

Sister narrated how parents teach the children only to speak in english. For example, father tells the child, "What is your name?'. He teachers the child to respond in english as well, "My name is so-and-so".
Then the parents equips the children with questions and answers which are typically, "what is your father's name? what is your mother's name?'. However, Sister Marian in her interviews conducts the interview in the native language of the child. During one such session this was her experience:

Sister : enna ma break-fast sapta (what did you have for break-fast?)
child : idly
Sister : etthana idly sappta (how many idlies did you eat?)
child : irandu (two)
Sister : enna tottutu sappta (what was the side dish?)
child : chiini (sugar)
the interview ended and Sister was very happy to have met this child. as the child left the room with her parents she over heard the child say, "appa, sisterrrr tappu tappa kaelvi kaettanga (daddy, sister asked questions wrongly).
Sister Marian could not help smiling away, nor did we when we heard this.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 09 - Second month of Schooling

Early Birds
Each day Grandparents and Parents converge on Siruvallur Road, sharply by 8.30am. They are atleast half an hour early birds. While the gates open only at 8.50am (10mins to 9am), the parents and grandparents either stand or perch on the neighbouring porticos that sideline the road. The children group together and play and make good friends in the bargain.

LKG - A section has registered 55 pupils for this term. B & C sections are more or less the same.
The class teacher of A section, Miss Susan, each morning stands at the entrance of her class and greets the children with a smile and waves them one by one into the class. Though the class teacher has collected the Activity Book, the activity will start only in December. Some of the parents are concerned about 'no-activity' status and describe the school as 'PLAY SCHOOL'. It is noticed that not all parents know the fact that the presentation convent has introduced the 'MONTESSORI CURRICULUM' for the KINDERGARTENERS.

LKG - B section teacher, Miss Annette, has the only twins in the Kindergarten. Oh! yes, she does have a tough time keeping them calmly active. Miss Annette has a television in her classroom and plays ABC playschool educational movies each morning. The children of this section are welcomed by the big screen tv, where rhymes or wildlife greets the children, as they walk in one by one.

When Miss Susan, the class teacher was asked by a parent, if she enjoys the class, she smiles back and says, "offcourse". It is quite evident that the teachers of all the three sections are quite active and always smiling, which is well appreciated by the parents.

What's in the class!
July 09, the class timings are from 9am~11am. The children bring baskets filled with water bottle, snack box, and toys. The class moves on with nursery rhymes which the teacher is busy reciting while the children listens mostly and then join in to sing them away to glory.



The Congregation of the Presentation Sisters was founded in Ireland in the year 1775 by Nano Nagle.

This foundation was the fruit of loving and compassionate service to the poor of Ireland.

In 1911, The Presentation convent was set up and annexed to the Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes.

The first school building consisted of a room 20x15 ft. The number of pupils on roll was 69. The school quickly grew in strength and new building was constructed in 1913.

Interview with Head Mistress Sr. Marian is scheduled during week-days between 9.00am~10.00am.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First Five Days of Kindergarten at St.John's

The New Kindergarten batch for the term 2009~10, commenced school on 15th, Monday, June 2009.

Sister Marian, the Headmistress, welcomed the parents along with their children warmly and commented that more than the children, it was the parents who cried most. She assured the parents that the weeping will stop in just 4 days time, and requested the parents to cooperate. the children were led to the play ground behind the school on the first day. The parents left their children one by one, amidst wild screams of the separating children. howling and wailing, the children broke their parents' hearts for sure.

Sister Marian, took to the stage once again and addressed the parents on the microphone. She consoled the parents more than the children. The teachers left the first day to the children in the play ground which was well shaded by the trees.

Day 2. The children were invited into the classrooms. Parents were asked to leave the children in the custody of the Teachers who greeted them at the gate. This caused pandemonium, and the children cried louder than the first day. Parents were once again emotional upset. Sister Marian consoled them stating, "The children will be fine in a few days, but for those parents who are crying, I will give you lollypops to stop crying". This brought alot of laughter and parents spoke amongst themselves and made new friends in the bargain.

Day 3 and 4, seen lesser commotion amongst the kids as they settled down in the new class-environment. There were no instructions, no books, no lessons for the children. Toys were strewn all around the class floor to invite the walk-in kids to play. Sister Marian made a smart move by asking the parents to accompany the children upto the class rooms. This really did pacify the children to a large extant. It was easy on the teacers too.

By the 4th day, just a few children were seen crying. Parents collected the school uniforms, calendar, text books. Sister Marian addressed cautioned the parents that there would be very less books issued and less home-works too. She said, "I know that you parents would complete the homework on behalf of your children. So we will not give work to take home. Even the books supplied would be kept at school to lessen the burden of the children. Please do not bind the books and add excess weight to the books." Such words of advice went very well with the Parents. Most of the parents were well composed and light veined by this time.

Day 5, Friday the 19th of June, seen many children happily dressed in their new uniforms which is their first experience. They were so smart in their uniforms and all the parents walked around proudly next to their children.

Sister Marian announced that the school timing would be just 1 hour for the month of June and in July it would be increased to 2 hrs.

By this last working day, friday, both children and parents were seen much more relaxed. They go home to enjoy the week-ends, only to be back with much vigor for the second new week at St.John's school.

Report by: Parents of LKG children.