Driving to work this morning and forgetting about the extra 10 minutes that school buses can add to my commute - I passed the many students waiting outside for the bus. Some in new clothes, most with an incredible air of despondency (for the end of summer) and anticipation (for a new school year) and all preparing for a new beginning.
Depending upon where you work - the first day of school for students can have a very different feel from the first day of school for the teachers and staff. The students some how add an extra level of excitement and anticipation for the school year - it somehow isn't real until they arrive. Each year for me was a time to set new goals for myself and my work, to make it that much better for this group of students than it was in previous years. It was about building relationships with my colleagues and trying new things to engage and inspire our students.
Now that I work with teachers more than students - it still has the same feel for me. I can support and encourage their work and be much more objective about the impact they have on their students than they are. Teachers can and do change the world.
This year is an especially difficult year for a district in which I am honored to work two days per week as curriculum coordinator. We lost a student yesterday - an incoming freshman - in a tragic ATV accident. To begin the school year in such a way is difficult. But the teachers and staff and community have pulled together to help students (and each other) through this difficult time. Neighboring districts have also reached out a hand to lend support and a shoulder to lean on. They are not immune to loss - one district ended their school year the same way that we are beginning.
In times of loss, we often wish that we could have one more moment to say a final "I love you" or "I am sorry" or "You mean the world to me." We don't get those moments back but can learn instead to make sure that we say them to others on a regular basis. As schools in our region come to session this week and we all have new beginnings - I think this student from Dallas has said it to those that matter to him. Will you say it to those that matter to you?
Cross posted on Grand Rounds.