Open Day for us at Kembangsari is a big affair. Preparations for the day begin right from after Chinese New Year, as parts of the preparation involves daily routines, such as filing and class displays. For educators who diligently perform their daily tasks, Open Day is a breeze.
Of course, the few days before the big day are the most stressful, as everyone race to put final touches to their displays, ensure that progress reports are filled, that walls are re-painted.
Bright and early on the actual day, the colourful flags and balloons go up. The gates are left open and chairs are lined up. Gradually, cars line up in front of both premises and the mixed chitter chatter of adults and children fill the air.
Open Day for us at Kembangsari is mainly for us to have a detailed conversations with parents, conversations which we normally are not able to conduct during normal business days. These informal chats allow us to understand further their goals and priorities for, as well as understandings towards the education and care of their children. We also use these chats to gauge how they view the centre-parent-child relationship we share with them.
Of course, the event also allows parents a chance to become more familiar with the people and place that make up a big portion of their children's lives. They get to admire the displays throughout the building. They get to share their children's enthusiasm for sand play, water play and gardening. They get to bring their books and other works back home after some brief explanation by the educator in charge of the group.
In addition, they also get the chance to have a look at photographs of daily activities and other events, such as excursions, incursions and Children's Day. On top of that, there is free lunch, which normally is nasi lemak with some other dessert, fruits and juice.
The best part of Open Day is the part where siblings of current students come along, many of them who were previously with us, too. Some even older students also drop by to say hi. Gives a really cosy feeling when we see them all grown up and doing well.
We may dislike how busy and stressed out we feel before the event but during and after the event, we are left with feelings of contentment and happiness, especially when parents show appreciation for our effort and when ex-students walk in and treat the place like home. Of course, parents who leave feedback that are negative, we accept and bring up for discussion during our staff meetings. Feedback of any sort, work as both encouragement and reminder that we constantly have room for improvement, that we must always put our best feet forward.