18 July, Munich, Germany

Remembering the first day of school, 12 May, 2020
By Kian Hein, 11

After two months of home schooling, I was excited to learn that I was to be one of the first children to go back to school.  I did not have many days left in primary school and the teachers wanted to prepare us for secondary school. I was looking forward to going back, seeing my friends and catching up with them.

Before going back, the teachers sent us a list of extra things we had to bring to school, like disinfectant, spare masks, a small towel and a packed lunch because the canteen was closed. We also had to watch a video that the headmistress made with instructions on how to behave at school when we go back. She said that things would be different from how it used to be and that it was very important to be careful and to obey the new rules because of COVID.

I was the only child on the school bus and felt nervous and excited at the same time. I had my mask on the whole time. When we got to school, we had a very nice welcome by the teachers who cheered us with homemade ‘Welcome Back! We Missed You’ banners when we entered the building one by one. I was very happy to see my friends again although we were split into different (smaller) classes and had many strict rules to follow.

At first it was very weird because of all the rules and many things were no longer allowed. Most of the school had been closed off. We had to wash our hands properly or use disinfectant when entering and leaving the classroom. During lessons, everyone had their own distanced desk. We sat on our own so we could pull off our mask, but only when everyone else was seated.  

During recess we had to wear our masks and every class had a play area. I was a little sad I could not race to my friends, but instead I had to stick to my play area and only interact with the children from my class and no one else. I got used to it after a while and we didn’t have to use a mask during recess after a couple of weeks (but still had to wear it when entering and leaving the school building for recess).

We were not allowed to sing or to play football because we would have had to share the ball, so we played tip kick instead. But least I could see my friends and teachers for real and not just on my screen.