The “Schultűte”

“That’s the thing about lessons, you always learn them when you don’t expect them or want them.”  Cecelia Ahern, If You Could See Me Now

 

 Ever heard your parents saying, “When I was your age …” –Well,  I did often enough, and each time I rolled my eyes until the migraine kicked in. Seriously! But, hey, I won’t admit to it, but, oops, the words have come across my lips once in a while. *smiles*.

 The summer break is almost over here in Australia and school’s starting again next week – another year of excitement, new routine, new teachers, yadi, yadi yada. You know the drill!

 My girls love going to school. Thank goodness. And if I humbly might add this here, hubby and I are very blessed with two clever little girls. So wind back time by a few years:  my daughter’s first day of school. Thing is though, I went to school in Germany and had no idea how things work here. It was a steep learning curve for me, to take my girls to school on their first day. I took a day off work, got my husband organised to come around at 8.50am and excitement grew. But boy was it a fizzer. At 8.55 am the first bell rang, my girl stood in line with all the other students … and then they disappeared into their classroom. That was it. Finished. I was dismissed. I went home, hubby back to work and 3.30 pm I picked up my daughter, over-excited and over-tired. Me that was. She was just in bubbling with stories. That day I said to my daughter, “When I was your age…”

 Why was it a fizzer for me? Well, this is where the  Schultűte  comes into the story.  See,  there’s a different tradition in Germany. Well, at least there used to be when I was a kiddo. Honestly, I can still remember when I started school xx-years ago. With a big smurflollie-cone-look-a-like-bag. Check out the smurf on the side – that’s the Schultűte, and now imagine it full of lollies. LOLLIES! Heaven for a little child. We thought school can’t be that bad when you get all these yummy treats. I can’t remember whether I was sick or not afterwards, but I do remember I loved school that week. Mum came as well for the first day. And my sister, too. They even came into the classroom with us, when we got to choose our desks and the “buddy” we sat next to. Can’t remember that much more, but I did come home with my mum, all excited, especially when the neighbours admired my Schultűte. Now, that’s what I call a great start into school life. Don’t you think? Presidents, Premiers, Kings, Queens and alike should consider making this law!

 Can you remember your first day at school?

About Iris B

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she actually had met her future husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only recently emerged, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as her dog.
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18 Responses to The “Schultűte”

  1. I had to read more about the Schultűte. What a nice tradition! I honestly can’t remember my first day of school. I know my grandma walked with me, because mom was at home with my younger brother. When my kids started school I was teaching, so I had to depend on other people to take them. I wish I would have send something special with them – I’m not sure their teachers would have appreciated me sending a Schultűte, but maybe a little special treat, just to let them know I was thinking about them.

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    • Iris B says:

      thanks for stopping by Patty. I’m sure your children know you were thinking of them. We all live and have lived a busy life, I’d say they know how it must’ve been for you. !!!

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  2. And here we hear how stoic the Germans are! What a great way to start kids out,I agree!(Of course, Kindergarten is a German invention; we should have all known!). I was scared to death of school and found out for the most part, I was right to be. On a personal level, I had a hard time and the teachers and school were almost run in a military style.On the other hand,I loved learning and boy,learn we did!
    I am working on The Next Generation and tell them what my schools were like,(so they better not complain about rules and teachers to me! They hear how easy they have it.) When I bemoan, however, the lower standards and the sloppy handwriting that is allowed, it maybe a trade-off for some kindness in the classroom.
    We’re mid-term here,Iris.Everyone is comfortable with their routines; papers are here and there, notebooks have frayed sides and the corners are already worn away on binders. I guess that hits about June there…and that’s about the time our kids get out for the year. I hope your girls have a wonderful year!

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    • Iris B says:

      You should check out Germany during this time of the year with the carnival season in full swing. We know how to party 😉
      Teaching is soooo much different nowadays to “when i was their age” (LOL) … Toys and sitting on the floor …. must be great 🙂 But I agree, no strict rules on handwriting and the “american” spelling is slowly sneaking in as well.
      I kinda guessed that you’d be mid-year. Mum always gets confused, not only have we got the start of the new year in January but the kids only start highschool in year 7 … very confusing for her to keep track of her few grandchildren’s school efforts 😉

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      • Oh, it’s all tangled up here,Iris! Now, Kindergarten is compulsory and in the city school system here,(as opposed tot he county schools, which planned ahead), they made the ‘Elementary school too small to handle the new grade and how very many new children there are.(This place had multiplied since I have been here.) So they had to split the schools into “Primary”(K-2), “Elementary” (3-5) “Junior High”[“Intermediate” depending on who is talking](6-9) and “High School” 10-12.It is very confusing, and big families can have kids in five schools, if they put a young one in the “Early Childhood Education”(Pre-school) program in a building across from the “Primary” school!

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      • Iris B says:

        Eek – thank gooddness I immigrated to Australia. “your” school system sounds waaaay to complicated. But having said that …. our’s is complicated as well with three different school you can go to after primary school.

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      • It’s just this town,Iris; it was pretty much a closed community since the 1700’s with not too many people moving in or staying.It has had a BOOM of people, both we “Brought-Ins” (as they call us) , and the fact that their large families have grown up and had children of their own…they just never foresaw and planned for the jump in population.

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  3. jeff7salter says:

    I have a very vague memory of my mom walking with me to the first day of first grade — we lived about half a block from the school grounds. I think she stood or sat in the back of the class but don’t believe she stayed very long. Don’t recall much “lining up” in elem. sch. except for the lunchroom serving line.
    When our kids were little, I confess I didn’t DO much about their first days. I was always at work. Denise must have handled it. Don’t recall knowing about any traumas. They knew lost of the kids from either church or the neighborhood or both.

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    • Iris B says:

      I think it’s great … whether your mum stayed long or just for a little while, you remember, though, that she was there!
      And as for your kids … I suppose, and no offence(!), that was the previous generation, women looked after the kids, men brought home the money.

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  4. HMCWriter says:

    Oh I love it! I work at an independent school and we have a ‘rainbow bridge’ ceremony from prep up to year one. The children sing, make each other gifts and their new teacher plays an instrument as they follow up to the big school, where they are greeted by the big kids 🙂

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    • Iris B says:

      Hi Hayley, thanks for stopping by. A ‘rainbow bridge’ sounds right up my alley – indeed very interesting!
      I work at an independent school as well, though not as a teacher … i’ve gotta find out whether they do something like that as well 🙂

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  5. cute. I love it. What a neat idea for the kids.

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  6. I’ll have to ask my son if he’s familiar with that character. He spends a lot of time in Germany. I remember my first day–I wanted to be home!

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  7. Carolin says:

    The tradition of celebrating the beginning of school is still in full swing in Germany. All my friends had a celebration for their kids. And the “Zuckertuete” is the best way to sweeten the beginning of the long 10-12 years of schooling! My daughter received her homemade one 2 days ago (we live in Australia) and she was also lucky enough to get to smaller ones from the German Grandmas. as well!

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    • Iris B says:

      Thanks for stopping by Carolin. All these years later, I regret not thinking about the ol’ tradition, but I’m not sure whether my girls would’ve taken the Schultuete anyway 🙂
      Congratulations to your daughter on starting school … I hope she’ll remember in years to come that it was a special day, and the most special thing was her “German” Schultuete … and good on the “Omas” to send some as well 🙂

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