Remembering Xander’s first day at school

The start of the new school year may be a month away, but time has a habit of flying by. Particularly when it comes to getting everything organised for that all-important first day. It’s natural that all of this creates worries for all concerned.

As part of its Trust Me, I’m a Teacher campaign, M&S is working with a group of teachers. To put parents’ minds at ease, they have shared funny, interesting and heartwarming stories that reveal what really happens once parents drop off their children for their first day at school.

Xander’s first day at school remains firmly in my memory. Not just because it was only last year, but also due to the way everything unfolded. He has always looked up to Dylan and couldn’t wait to join him at school.

He was well and truly prepared. In fact, he was ready a good few months before his start date. We planned to get him to try on his uniform during the summer holidays to get him used to it, but he pre-empted us by asking to do so during the first week!

A post shared by Tom Briggs (@diaryofthedad) on

Similarly, we had everything in place well in advance. Uniform, shoes, bag, PE kit, water bottle, the lot. Xander was already familiar with the walk to school and the playground too. He was confident and so were we. So what could possibly go wrong? In short, the British weather.

On our way in, it started pouring down. It was the worst rain we had seen in a long time. We were all absolutely drenched by the time we got there. Our clothes weren’t the only things that had been dampened though. The same applied to Xander’s enthusiasm.

Nobody had any choice but to hastily say their goodbyes and dash for cover from the rain. He went in without any fuss, but was understandably subdued. We felt bad too. It seemed so unfair on all the kids and parents. Particularly those who were there for the first time.

A child holding a sign saying "My first day at school".

Thankfully, everything turned out well in the end. The sun came out soon afterwards. Once we were home, of course! While we were on our way back, he was busy making himself comfortable. Ever the little lifehacker, he found the toilets so he could dry off under the hand dryer! As soon as I heard he had done this, I knew he would be fine.

And so it has proved. He recently completed reception year and absolutely loved it. He made lots of friends and got a glowing report from his teacher too. This just goes to show that it’s okay for kids’ first days at school to not exactly go to plan.

It can be a daunting prospect for kids and parents alike at the best of times. But it’s the whole year that counts, not just day one. So if you’re sending your little one for their first day at school in September, don’t worry if your expectations aren’t met. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. They’ll soon find their feet and be astounding you with the things they learn!

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.

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