I love the energy and excitement of kids, teachers, and administrators as we start another school year. The smell of freshly sharpened pencils, the feeling of confidence you have with your back to school clothes and the unique smell of a school fills the air. You can feel the energy and excitement. Kids are excited, teachers are excited and parents are elated — that the kids finally went back to school! \
Something that is truly unique to school — kids and teachers enjoy an annual fresh start.
Yes, a complete do-over!
I cannot think of any other profession that annually has a fresh start. All the scars and/or frustrations of the prior school year are smoothed over with summer break. We recharge our batteries and are mentally ready to tackle the challenges that are in front of us for the next 180 plus school days. Kids too are energized and ready to tackle the goals and learning targets that the teachers will present. This is a gift and one that should not be squandered.
Embrace it and build upon that momentum that can carry students and teachers to the end of a school year. Students and teachers need to avoid going back to old habits that are unproductive and do not contribute to learning. We need to be open to the idea that not only do we change — but students change and grow as well.
What always frustrated me as an administrator is our unwillingness to embrace this new beginning. Many of our teachers and students are haunted by the past school years incidents and failures. They let those feelings overshadow that fresh start. Teachers need to encourage kids that relapse into old habits and work hard to create new positive habits. Success in school always breeds more success. Work on making sure kids are successful and when they do not meet the expectations help them grow and learn from the experience.
Teachers need to truly give each and every child that enters the classroom a fresh start. Resist the temptation of comparing them to a sibling, or buying into what last year’s teacher had to say about him/her as a student. Truly give them a fresh start and mentally be prepared to insure they have success.
Embrace that fresh start as you begin another school year. It is truly a gift!