The Susono city junior high and elementary schools had their entrance ceremonies – 入学式 （にゅうがくしき） (nyu gaku shiki) – last Monday. This was the first day of school for the Susono ALTs.
The entrance ceremony is much more formal than my recollection of starting school in the UK. They decorate the school with flowers and parents come to watch in suits and kimonos!
As part of the ceremony, existing students welcome the new pupils by singing them a song. Children in Japan seem much more into singing than me and my friends when I was a child.
There is also a speech from the headmaster and PTA chairperson as well as a host of VIPs, e.g. community leaders, someone from the Board of Education, police officers, etc. who come to witness the ceremony. My less than perfect Japanese may have contributed to my understanding of the headmaster’s speech at one of my schools. I thought he said that parents should never take their eyes off their children because of the dangerous times we live in, including the scurge of drugs and violence.
Susono is possibly the safest place I have lived in my whole life!
Although possibly he was merely trying to encourage parents to take an active role in their kids lives?
On this first day fo school, the teachers are treated toa luxury Japanese bento. As there were extra, I got one for my dinner too! Just one of the perks of ALT school life!