“My school uniform”

“My school uniform”

A week before I started school on 2 January 2017, my parents made me wear my school uniform just to make me feel how nice it would look on me and to get me used to it.  They want me to start my childhood by socialising with different racial and religious communities of Singapore.

My name is Nur Iffah Muhammad Imran. I am two and a half years old in January, and the school, Sparkle Tots Preschool, is in Bedok North. My class is Nursery 1, a daily two-hour play-group class with15 multi-racial children.

My first day at school began from my paternal grandparent’s home. I call my grandmother “Nani” and my grandfather “Atuk”.

Both Nani and Atuk have given me lots of school-life encouragement. They made me feel that school-life is interesting, saying I would have many friends, have many toys to play, play games with the teachers and learn many things.

MY FIRST DAY

Since I was six months old, Mommy and Daddy have been sending me to Atuk’s home at around 6:15 in the morning on weekdays and then go to work. They fetched me home around 7 pm after having dinner at Atuk and Nani’s home.

I was excited on my first day of school. As my school starts at 10 in the morning, at about 8:45 am Nani bathed me and put on my school uniform.  I didn’t like the white and red uniform.  My favourite colour has always been pink. I made fun of it at first. Below are some photos of me in my uniform.

At first, I disliked my school uniform. Uh! Red and white. My favourite colour is pink.

I don’t like my school uniform. Uh! Red and white. My favourite colour is pink. Ha! Ha! Terrible colours!  The red makes me dizzy!

I maee fun of the uniform by running around in a circle in different poses.

I make fun of the uniform by running around in a circle in different poses.

But, a few minutes later I began to like my uniform.  The colours are like that of the Singapore’s flag – the white colour stands for purity and virtue while the red stands for brotherhood and the equality of man.

Soon, I like it. Ah, red and white are colours of Singapore’s flag. I am proud of wearing it now.

Suddenly, I realised.  Ah, red and white are the colours of my Singapore’s flag. I am proud of wearing the uniform now.  The colours match strikingly with my blue schoolbag.

That morning Mommy was able to take a few hours off her work and so she came back from her school to take me, Atuk and Nani to my school. Daddy was unable to get leave.  But he has given me lots of kisses early that morning.

Today (2 January 2017) is going to be my first day at school. My Nani, Atuk and Mommy are going to send me to school. I am ready but I am a bit nervous – I sat with my Nani, walked around and wrote something while waiting for my Mommy to arrive.

Today (2 January 2017) is going to be my first day at school. My Nani, Atuk and Mommy are going to send me to school. I am ready but I am a bit nervous – I sat with my Nani in the balcony, walked around and scribbled something while waiting for my Mommy to arrive.

MY CLASSROOM

I entered my classroom with some unease and held my Mommy’s hand tightly. Atuk and Nani too came into the classroom. Since it was the first day, parents, grandparents and guardians were allowed in, and our two teachers, Teacher Casey and Teacher Pauline, talked about our school matters to them while many of us, seeing the numerous play-things in the room, excitedly walked around touching and lifting this and that.

My first experience in a school. My Mommy, my Nani and my Atuk are all in the classroom to support and give confidence to me in my formal educational journey.

My first experience in a school. My Mommy, my Nani and my Atuk are all in the classroom to support and give confidence to me in my formal educational journey.

While Teacher Casey and Teacher Pauline talked to parents and guardians of the children, we children busied ourselves with the many playthings around us.

While Teacher Casey and Teacher Pauline talked to the parents, grandparents and guardians of the children, we children busied ourselves with the many playthings around us.

Soon, our first day ended and we were happy.  I love school. There so many things to play. And I shall make friends with the other children. But for today, my first day, I want to go home.

After the first day session, I posed for photos just outside my classroom with my Atuk, Mommy and Nani who were so happy to see me happy.

After the first day session, I posed for photos just outside my classroom with my Atuk, Mommy and Nani who were so happy to see me happy.

We were also happy throughout the week because only one acquainted person of every child, usually a parent or a grandparent, was allowed to be with us in the classroom while our teachers sang nursery rhymes and danced with us.  In my case, while both Nani and Atuk took me to school but only Nani was with me in the classroom. Atuk stood and loitered outside, occasionally peering from the open windows to make sure I was alright.

Over the next few days Teacher Pauline (left) Teacher Casey played with us. They even taught us to play the choo-choo train game.

Over the next few days Teacher Pauline (left) and Teacher Casey played with us. They even taught us to play the choo-choo train game.

In another Nursery Rhyme game, Teacher Casey “fell” and I quickly rushed to help her. And then two other children came to help her.

In another Nursery Rhyme singing game, Teacher Casey “fell” at the end of the song and I quickly rushed to help her. And then two other children came to help her, too.  We enjoyed the game.

The real anxiety began in the second and third week when the parent, grandparent or guardian were told to leave the classroom slowly after about an hour. Of course, many of the children wailed and cried. I sobbed, crying “Nak Nani, nak Nani” (I want Nani, I want Nani) and pointing my hand in the direction of the door but my teachers consoled me.

I looked glad that the ordeal of the day was over and my loves ones were there to take me home.

From the second day onwards, Atuk and Nana took me to school and back. For memory, photos of me were taken even at the bus-stop and in the bus.

From the second day onwards, Atuk and Nani took me to school and back. For memory, photos of me were taken even at the bus-stop and in the bus.

My paternal relatives meet me regularly. Once, Nani Nab (first photo) came to my school and we went home together and at another time, Nani Mah came. But every day, I would be with my paternal grandmother, “Nani”. Once, I even met up with Aunty Denise (photo at extreme right) who would come out of her office to hug me when Atuk takes me for a walk in the neighbourhood before going home.

My paternal relatives meet me sometimes. Once, Nani Nab (first photo) came to my school and we went home together and at another time, Nani Mah (second photo) came. But every day, I would be with my paternal grandmother, “Nani”. Once, I even met up with Aunty Denise (photo at extreme right) who would come out of her office to hug me when Atuk takes me for a walk in the neighbourhood before going home.

Atuk used to take me to the playground near his block every day before I started schooling, but one day in mid-January, he took me there for me to me recall the place.

Atuk used to take me to the playground near his block everyday before I started schooling, but one day in mid-January, he took me there for me to recall the place.

Everyday, at the end of the class, when our parent/grandparent came to fetch us, our teachers hugged us one by one and we bid them goodbye.

MY FRIENDS

By the middle of the third week, a few of my classmates were still, like the previous days, afraid to go into the classroom unaccompanied. They cried, some refused to go in. But our qualified teachers were firm and took charge of us. But, I made friends.  Now I have many friends.

With my classmates Hazel, Elydia and Kaeden...

With my classmates Hazel, Elydia and Kaeden…

With my classmates Elise, Li Xin and Lutfi…

With my classmates Elise, Li Xin and Lutfi…

With my classmates Anshika, Anisah and Bandi…

With my classmates Anshika, Anisah and Bandi…

MY TEACHERS

I was no longer scared, but I was tensed when Nani left me to wait for me outside the classroom. The windows were closed so no parent/grandparent distracted our attention while we were with our teachers.  Most of the wailing and sobbing children slowly calmed down with the close attention of our teachers.

On the last couple of days of the third week, I did not cry at all.  I have developed confidence to be on my own.  Thanks to my teachers for their care and love of us. That made me confident of myself. They are wonderful. Both my teachers gave the thumbs up to Nani and Atuk when they came to the door to fetch me.

Everyday, at the end of the class, when our parent/grandparent came to fetch us, our teachers hugged us one by one and we bid them goodbye.  I love my teachers.

Everyday, at the end of the 2-hour class, Teacher Pauline (left) and Teacher Casey gives each us a loving hug as we leave the classroom. I am not afraid because my Nani and Atuk waited outside to fetch me. I have stuck a photo of my Daddy, Mommy, Nani and Atuk on the wall.

Everyday, at the end of the 2-hour class, Teacher Pauline (left) and Teacher Casey give each us a loving hug as we leave the classroom.  I have stuck a photo of my Daddy, Mommy, Nani and Atuk on the wall to remember them.  But,  I am not afraid of school any more. My teachers are always there, ready to help us. They love us.

CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS

The end of January was a time for joy as students all over Singapore celebrated the Chinese New Year (CNY) on its eve. We too celebrated. There was no need to wear our uniform and many of us came to school in “red”, the auspicious colour of the Chinese New Year custom, many wearing red Chinese attire.  I was wearing a dark blue Chinese attire. We had lots of fun.  We wished our teachers a very Happy New Year.

With two of my classmates, my Nani and my maternal grandparents... My paternal Atuk is unable to join us children for the Chinese New Year celebrations because he had injured his toe badly and it is bandaged.

With two of my classmates, my Nani and my maternal grandparents… My paternal Atuk is unable to join us  for the Chinese New Year celebrations because he had injured his toe badly and it is bandaged.

At the nearby amphitheatre, the children get ready to make their presentations. Most of us wore Chinese attire, many in red colour.

At the nearby amphitheatre, the children get ready to make their presentations. Most of us wore Chinese attire, many in red colour.

Parents/guardians are always around to comfort and encourage us.

Some of the parents are always around to comfort and encourage us to participate in the CNY celebrations..

My Mommy and I are waiting for my turn to go on stage.

My Mommy and I are waiting for my turn to go on stage.

Soon, I and some of my classmates made our presentations, a lively song-dance item.

Soon, I and some of my classmates went up the stage and made our presentation, a lively song-dance item. I performed well. I enjoyed my first public performance.

BACK TO SCHOOL

After the long Chinese New Year holiday weekend, school resumed today (1 February 2017), exactly a month from the day I first stepped into the classroom. It is fun to go back to school.

I’m back to school on 1 February, after enjoying my long Chinese New Year holidays. Atuk is not able to send me to school because of his foot injury, so I gave my salam to him. Nani took me to school and I waved and threw kisses at Atuk from the lift. Ta-daa! Some half hour later, I’m in front of the school door already. Yes, I am happy to go to school. I love my school. I love my teachers.

I’m back in school on 1 February, after enjoying my long Chinese New Year holidays. Atuk is not able to send me to school because of his foot injury, so I gave my salam to him. Nani took me to school and I waved and threw kisses at Atuk from the lift. Ta-daa! Some half hour later, I’m in front of the school door already. Yes, I am happy to go to school. I love my school. I love my teachers.

I love my school uniform, my very first school uniform, and look forward to wearing many other school uniforms along the long journey of my school life.  Insya-Allah.

Nur Iffah Muhammad Imran

(Transposed by Atuk Shaik Kadir)

1 February 2017

 

 

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