The start of the school year also saw the first event in the Walnut School events calendar – the Annual Walnut School Parent Orientation meeting! At Walnut, we walk the road less trodden and this was no exception. The twist in the tale for this meeting was that parents and students exchanges roles for the day!

The main aim being that all our parents understand the Walnut Learning System and also get a chance to interact with the subject teachers. What better way could be for them to do this, other than to step into their child’s shoes and live a school day just as he/she does?

The students of Standard 7th and 8th took over the role of “pilots” for the day. They were tasked with the role of ensuring that the “New” students of the school followed the Time-Table and to guide them through the day.

Some students became floor managers to guide parents, while others helped their assigned class from one room to another.The event started exactly at 8 am with registration of the first batch of parent-students.

First came the introduction; the would – be students were given a warm welcome and a set of instructions to follow :

  • Walk in a line. We have different stairs to go up and down. Follow the signs.
  • Go to the toilet before we start. If you go during the period, you’ll miss the lesson and if you go between periods, you might miss your group.
  • If you do get lost, there will be one student guide sitting in the passage outside the toilet on each floor. Tell your guide what class you are in and you will be told where your group is.
  • When you leave the class, be sure to gather all your personal belongings.
  • In case you have to leave the orientation before it actually ends due to any personal emergency, do write your name on your guide’s list, so we know you aren’t lost in the school somewhere!
  • Keep your phones switched off, or silent.

In each subject classroom, the teachers informed the parents of how the subject would be dealt with during the year, how its syllabus would unfold, what the evaluation pattern would be, etc. All queries and doubts were clarified at the end of each 10 – minute “lecture”.

Once the bell rung to signify the end of class, the pilots quickly moved into action to guide their class to the next classroom and the next period began. The parents were also firmly reminded to form orderly lines and exit the classrooms only through the ‘Out’ door of each classroom. This was indeed a novel experience for the parents!

Our pilots and floor managers were serious about their roles. Any parent out of queue was tactfully asked to join his/her queue. A parent talking on the phone found himself/herself the subject of a stern gaze and received a request to wrap up the call as it was disturbing everyone. Anyone lost was immediately guided back to his/her group by our efficient floor managers.

Some of the parents were interviewed by our pilots, who wanted to know their feelings about the day and also about the whole Walnut experience.

“I had a lovely day today; I got to experience a day in the life of my child. This gives me a chance to connect with him better. The concept of switching classrooms is a novel one for us and we had our reservations about the same. But, after today, I have changed my mind. I found, it helped refresh my mind and focus better on my next task. This day brought back memories of my own childhood. Thank you Walnut for making this possible for us.”

The day was a complete success, with the parents as well as the teachers having a big smile on their faces. This was all thanks to our hard working pilots and an enthusiastic staff!

And how do we appreciate the hard work of our pilots and staff? With a pizza party at the end of the day!We are glad to say that the orientation meeting was a complete success, where the parents went home tired but satisfied after experiencing a day in their children’s shoes!

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