Today all the first graders were invited to an "Open House" to meet their teachers, classmates, and to get a taste of what to expect on September 1st. They had two full periods of lessons plus a light lunch, and the parents got to meet one another and various teachers. I knew quite a few of the other parents -- either their older children are in Katya's class or I teach them in the middle school/high school. That felt good! We all had fun sipping tea and eating piroshki on the child-sized dining room chairs.
Natalia had a wonderful time and can't wait to go back tomorrow morning!
I feel really lucky that she ended up with an American friend in her class; she will really enjoy that and I think they'll end up being very close. Katya never had another English speaker in class and she adapted just fine, but I can't help but think that this will make it easier for Natalia...
I really like their teacher, too. We got off on the right foot! You see, yesterday was "The Last Bell," a sort of Graduation ceremony when Seniors ring the last bell of their school days. It's not officially a Graduation because they still have national exams to pass before they can get diplomas; those exams are the second week of June and their official Graduation is during the third week of June. In any case, the day was very special with two ceremonies attended by all the students and then the high schoolers, teachers, parents and friends.
The fourth graders played a special part in the ceremony and did a wonderful job. Their teacher was on stage at one point, and I then recognized her in the lower school later that day when I went to pick up Katya. I ran after her to congratulate her on what a good job her students had done -- and was surprised when she thanked me, knew who I was, and told me that she will be Natalia's teacher! I'm so glad that I complimented her before I knew who she was, so she knows I truly meant it!
She's kind and strict, the perfect combination for Natalia.