Saturday, 12 September 2009

Aloysius' First School Week at Grenoble and TRAC

I saw from his facial expression that he was uneasy, looking worried and his eyebrows-meeting while we were on our way to Grenoble Public School (Toronto District School Board member) on his first day. I too was queasy knowing that it will be the first time that he will be with other kids from different cultures and teachers different from his previous school. We had to walk 2 blocks to get there and with the 2 kids in tow, it was not easy. We arrived on the first bell and the school quadrangle seemed hectic. I saw a teacher with a paper that said "Ms. Atcha - Grade 3 class and we lined up. I was starstruck as she looked like Ms. Universe hahaha but when I got the chance to talk to her I found out that there were 5 Grade 3 classes and Miggy was not in hers. We had to go back to the registrar's office to get Miggy's Classroom number and teacher's name but there were many people there, with Lex' stroller, I couldn't get through. I was clueless who the teachers were but I asked those with clipboards and luckily, I was able to find Miggy's homeroom teacher - Mr Randy Coleman.

When we reached the area where we left, it was now empty as the students already went to their rooms. I asked another teacher, she looked senior and she volunteered to bring Miggy to his classroom because we had to take the stairs. What irked me was when she said, are you sure he is in Grade 3? I had to explain that the lady in the registrar's office enrolled him there and also told her that he only finished Grade 1. Later during lunch, I asked his teacher if there was a problem with Miggy in his class because the lady who brought him there questioned. He said that here in Canada, the grade is based on the age, I presented Miggy's report card in Grade 1 to let him know the subjects he has taken and he looked impressed (buti naman, matataas ata ang grades ng anak ko hehe). He explained that the lady was the head of the Lead program for those who will have to catch up on class and then shrugged, "We'll see, if your child needs that". I just let a sigh of relief and went home.

Going to the school is burdensome to kyle who had to walk, he always asks, "are we there yet?" but when he discovered the playgrounds (and McDonald's), he always looks forward to fetching Kuya. On the first day, Kuya was rewarded with a new drawing pad when they were asked for their hobbies and he was very happy. Since then, I always see a happy face whenever he leaves for school. I guess he already looks forward to his class and meeting his classmates who were also his playmates after school. Everyday, we stay for at least fifteen minutes at the playground to let them play. I also met some mothers and exchange mom notes. Even Lex have new friends.

I just want to mention that the planner/diary that they gave looked like a diary for an executive in the Phils. I remember the PDCA cycle in ISO and it was something like that. The students were encouraged to have a plan or goal and do something to achieve that goal. The acronym to guide them is TRAC (Think - Record - Act - Check). Here's an excerpt from the Planner and each one of us can also make use of this in lives:

THINK is the first planning step for every month, week or day but it's also a great way to start the year! Take some time right now to think what's really important to you. What do you want to accomplish this year (or month or week or day)? What changes do you want to make? What do you want to improve?

RECORD - so you've thought about what you want to do. Now what? Start to fill in details and plan what you need to do. Get your pen and RECORD. Record the daily tasks and steps you need to take.

ACT - You know what you want to do. You know what you need to do now to get there. Now, put your plans into ACTION! Schedule time for your priorities and then take action. Planning meets action!

CHECK - the truth is things will never work out perfectly, no matter how much you plan. But don't give up; just get smarter. At the end of each week or month, look back one more time. CHECK how you did.

Review everything you planned to do. What did you complete? What did you not quite finish?

Move unfinished tasks and goals to another day or week. Looking back is really just the first step in looking forward.

Reflect on how things went. What went well? What didn't? Why? Whatever happened, think about how you can learn from it next time.

Well, Miggy have lots of TRACs to do and so do I. I am looking forward to the day Miggy finish this school year. It will be a very busy one.

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