Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to business: Tori in second grade

Tori started second grade today with the usual back to school excitement and nerves and silliness. But somehow the over the top delirium (that we will see on the faces of the twins when they start school tomorrow) is gone. We have a little routine going with a German style schule tute, a poem and a parent riding the bus all on the first day. Tori knows what is coming at home and at school. She likes it. She appreciates it. But she is already intent on her job of being a second grader.

Tori’s school has 9 classes of second graders, all on the 6th floor of her school building. About half of the teachers are new this year and a good many of the students are new as well. Hong Kong is definitely a transitional community with families posted here for a few years with some jobs and cycling through based on the economy with other jobs. Despite all this change, Tori knows about half of her class this year from previous school classes. She told me she was too busy playing and talking to get to the monkey bars at recess, a sure sign that she knows enough people to be comfortable.

As in years past, the kids at Tori’s school have a six day curriculum that they go through every week. (They go to school five days per week.) They all get Chinese, Music, Art, PE, Guidance and Religion on a rolling basis in addition to 1 hour of reading, 1 hour of writing and 1 hour of math every day. Additionally, Tori’s teacher asked her students to write down three things they want to learn this year. Tori wrote genetics/DNA, the names of most stars and multiplication tables. Tori dreams big but knows she has to learn those multiplication tables too. Here’s hoping for a lot of wonder and a bit of realism for all those new second graders, and especially ours.


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