This is… almost a week late, but schoolwork popped up. Yes, it’s lame. Senior year and we’re still bombarded with work (until this weekend. No more homework yay!). I was one of the few who still took it seriously until the end. I needed the grades.
But now that I have some free time, I can finally put up the first article in the Looking Back series. We’re going to go all the way back to 1997, the year I entered pre-kindergarten at my elementary school.
Back then, pre-k was the first year you could even enter the school, at four years of age. There’s the nursery now, for even younger kids, but like I said, that was a relatively recent addition. Pre-k was where I first learned how to read and write. I honestly don’t remember how we did it last millennium, but the class there now learned one letter a week (how do I know this? I’ve been working with them all year. But that’s another story). Pre-k is also where you make your first friends. You’re stuffed into a room with a bunch of other kids for the first time, which seems frightening at first (I remember crying on the first day because I didn’t want to be separated from my mom. Happy Mother’s Day, by the way.), but eventually you make friends.
There are quite a few things that are different now than back then. The teacher I had back in 1997 is still in the same school, but she’s moved on to teaching fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. (She actually made the move not long after I left pre-k, so I had her for a total of four years. Go figure.) The classroom, as well as the entire school, has significantly upgraded in terms of technology. In the middle of the board shown on the picture is now a smartboard, and on the desk near the board is a computer and printer. The teacher there now uses the smartboard every day to help with her teaching. There used to be toys in the room all over; now, the class uses my old third grade classroom as their playroom.
But there is still so much that is the same, and I’m not just talking physically. The atmosphere is the same as it was back then. For the early part of my pre-k year, I was bullied by another classmate, but after he left (he was either kicked out or left on his own, I don’t remember) things got better and more fun. The kids today get along with each other really well and seem to be enjoying class a lot. And there is always a sense of learning in the classroom. Even though some of the students struggle a little, they always get the help they need, whether from one of the teachers or from me.
I know without pre-k I probably would not be where I am today. Not only was it a head start on those who joined the class starting in kindergarten, but it also got me used to the entire school experience and to the people that I shared my entire elementary school life with. It felt really good as I started working there again this year
I’ve been to pre-k twice without getting left back, and though my second time there draws to a close soon, I can say that I’ve learned one important thing from that class: to have fun no matter what.
On the next installment: my childhood deli. The building still exists. The deli does not.