During the last week of the school holidays, we met with Susie’s form teacher and school counsellor to discuss how they would like to begin the school year for their Primary 6 class. Last year, Susie and several of her classmates were often absent and Susie in particular, for a significant part of the year. They decided that the school day will start with a warm welcome and if some students were not present, to have the class reflect on the situation. If so, questions such as “Who is not in school today? Why do you think they are not? How can we help?” would be put forth before getting each student to define a successful school year and to identify those who would be most happy to see them succeed.
We were happy with the outcome of the discussion but in our hearts, we were hoping that Susie and those who were frequently absent would come to school. When we visited Susie, she told us that she would appreciate a wake-up call and she was glad that a neighbour agreed to knock on her door before she prepared her own children for school.
On Wednesday, Susie showed up in school and was soon happily mingling with her friends. She told the school counsellor that having been frequently absent, she was apprehensive about coming back. But, the moment the neighbour knocked on the door, she felt encouraged to start the year right. Susie also confided in the counsellor that she aimed to pass her final year in primary school but was worried that she could not catch up. Hence the past couple of days, she has been working with the counsellor to draw up a study plan that takes advantage of homework support, tuition, study groups and other resources in her community.
The beginning of a new year is an opportune time to ponder on our purpose. Susie would like to devote her energy to passing her examinations and I believe her school is equally devoted in ensuring that she does. We wish them both success as well as the perspective that the value of a destination is that it provides a good orderly direction. Having one is as important as reaching it.
Enjoy your week
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson