Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Last First Day of School in Moldova

Today was the first day of school, which is known as "Primul Sunet" - the First Bell. 
School starts the same day every year, September 1st. My host mom asked me when school starts in America, and I told her it starts on a different day every year and it is different according to states. She was confused by this and didn't think it made much sense! I have to agree with her there. 
 At my school, there are no classes on the first day of school, but I think this varies according to school. 
However, there is a BIG celebration. 
Students, teachers, and parents all gathered outside in the school yard leaving a big empty rectangle in the center. The students were arranged by their classes. 

First the 11th graders who will be graduating this year escorted in the new 1st graders. First grade is the first year children here go to school; there is no kindergarten. I would like to point out that the girls are wearing traditional outfits that girls wear on special occasions at school.

Next, some of the 11th graders marched through the center to raise the Moldovan Flag. 

There were several speeches given during this. Last year I had to give a speech in Romanian. Luckily, I didn't have to give one this year! I got to sit on the side and watch. 

The Director of the school gave the 1st graders the "Key of Knowledge."

It was my host brother Costel's first day of school, and he was looking mighty handsome in his suit. He was chosen along with a little girl to ring the first bell of the year. They carried their bells and rang them as they walked along the border of the people. He is the first boy ever to do this at my school, as in previous years a 1st grade girl sat on the shoulders of an 11th grade boy and rang the bell this way. However this year they changed things up.

After this there were several more quick speeches, and the ceremony was done. The students set off to their classrooms to meet their "diriginta" - homeroom teacher. The homeroom teachers remain with one group of students from 1st grade to 4th grade, and a new homeroom teacher has them from 5th to 11th grade.

Two of my teaching partners and I. Cornelia on the left and Natalia on the right. I worked with Natalia all last year, and we've become best friends. This is my first time working with Cornelia, and I'm sure it will be great.

Flowers from some of my students. 16 roses in this bouquet!!