The first day of school is still exciting after twenty five years of working in public schools. I still remember the feeling as a student and as a young teacher and although the butterflies are a little different, the anticipation still remains. A new school year is truly like opening a new book because of the excitement of not knowing how things are going to go. The start of school is a good time to forget previous bad years and seek to emulate previous good years.
It is fun to see the excitement on new sixth grade students and new teachers alike. Even veterans seem to have a little extra spark in their eye on the first day of school. I realize that I was fortunate to have a positive experience while in school and have always enjoyed the school environment and not everyone shares these thoughts. Even for students who remember previous school years with disdain, there is always the possibility that this year will be different. Each year I start the year hoping each student has a positive experience and gets a good start. Not everyone gets what they want in terms of schedules, classes, teachers or lunch, but maybe something positive will happen during the day.
As the year goes by the temptation is to let some of the enthusiasm of the first day begin to wane, but hopefully the positive thoughts will continue throughout the entire year. While it is true that there will be days when circumstances are not desirable; maybe even on bad days some good has been done in the life of a child. For those students who seem to never have a positive school experience we continue to try and find the key to altering the negative experience.
Most of our students will go home excited about seeing their friends and finding out which teachers appear on their schedule. Many will be delighted by who shares their lunch period or who they sit next to in science class. We never know if we might have met our future best friend or spouse as we try and find the best place to sit in the cafeteria. Many go home tired forgetting how exhausting this day can be, but all will go home with the satisfaction of know that they conquered the first day of school.