Shiny, freshly waxed floors are my favorite part of back to school. Usually, this is the last task for the custodial crew when preparing the building for the new academic year. If the walls could talk, I am sure they would be screaming, “Welcome students! We missed you so much and have anxiously awaited your return!” It is also a symbol of a fresh start for students filled with new opportunities and adventures. Not to mention, new people (teachers and peers) to meet and new content to explore. Everyone on the campus has the ability to chart their course for the year.
As an educator, I have spent the past few weeks supporting teacher learning via professional development sessions. Thought provoking conversations on instructional best practices and overcoming various obstacles for student success has been the forefront of my work. Over the past twenty years as society has changed, so has the challenges facing educators. The determination and out-of-the-box thinking to conquer these challenges by the teachers I met is inspiring. Every time I left a school, I felt confident the students there are going to have a remarkable year of learning. Like the walls, the teachers have missed the students and have been anxiously waiting their return.
As a parent, the past couple of weeks has been spent getting my children adjusted to waking up early (and holding fast to their bedtime). We squeezed in a couple more visits to the park and some handwriting practice. We have talked about what they expect to learn in their new grade. A six-year-old’s perspective on math is always fascinating! Additionally, we made the trip to the store to purchase the supplies for the year. It is a joy watching them choose their folders, notebooks, pencil bags, etc. They too have missed their friends and look forward to learning from their new teachers.
With all the excitement and everything looking shiny, I wish everyday could be the first day of school. Each day filled with hope, anticipation, and enthusiasm. To quote J.B. Priestley, “I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”