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On Becoming a New Bialik Parent…

The start of school felt very different this year for me personally. In my role as Vice Principal, Primary Division, I always look forward to welcoming the students on the first day of school, in particular our new JK students. This September, I saw it from another perspective when I sent my own child off to JK at Bialik, while I remained home on maternity leave. Here are some of my thoughts and impressions as a first-time Bialik parent. 

When my husband and I first started discussing whether or not we would send our son to Bialik a few years ago, I had a lot of reservations about sending him to the school where I worked. Being the son of a Vice Principal, would he ever get invited for playdates? What if he got into trouble at school? What if he had a meltdown in front of all the parents at pick-up? What if the teachers judged my parenting (I can already tell you that I forgot to label his masks on both sides, as requested)? Despite my concerns, we ultimately knew that Bialik was the right choice for him and for us.

As September approached, we anxiously awaited the August Package. Even though it was long, I meticulously read every single document for the first time in my Bialik career. I did not want to miss a thing! Despite the fact that I had written parts of these documents in previous years, I felt that labouring over the details was a rite of passage. 

I was like any other parent on their child’s first day of school — excited and nervous. My husband did not say that he was nervous, but he did review the map of the playground gates and entrances twice that morning. I could not help but look at the clock constantly and wonder how my son was enjoying his first day. But, his huge smile at pick-up time said it all. For the first time, I was able to experience Bialik through his eyes. 

Like any parent, I feel such nachas when I hear the excitement in my child’s voice as he shares details about his day. I love hearing him tell stories about his friends and listening to him belt out holiday songs and even pronounce “Rosh Hashanah” in an Israeli accent. These simple, yet powerful, moments reaffirm for me that we made the right choice. 

Bialik is an incredible school and offers a quality education, but it’s also more than that. Bialik is an amazing community. In a few short weeks, it has become our family’s community as well. We experience such warmth from parents in the pick-up line as we share our children’s experiences during the first few weeks of school. We are in awe of the teachers who instill curiosity and excitement for learning, despite being shielded by masks and interrupted by constant handwashing. We feel thankful for a school that recognizes the importance of developing good character alongside academic achievements. I could not be more proud of our school. 

I feel very lucky for my son and me to share our Bialik experience. I have been at the school for just over 10 years — you could say I know Bialik pretty well. I am excited for him to experience everything that I know our school has to offer. But this year, I’m a first-time Bialik parent. This will be a year of new Bialik experiences for my family and for me, and for that I am so thankful.

Karen Lidor

Vice Principal, Primary Division

Viewmount Branch