Back to school commercials fill the airways, excited teachers prepare for the return of energetic students. These events signal the beginning of a new school year. Some students will be more excited than others to welcome a new school year but most of them will be excited even if they do not want to admit it. Some teachers will also have a little apprehension about the new school year but the majority welcomes the challenge to make a difference in the lives of students.
The great thing about a new school year is the feeling of a fresh start. Each year brings anticipation that this year will be even better than the previous years. For those of us who have been in schools the majority of our lives we are renewed by the possibilities a new year brings. One pleasure veteran teachers have is to see new teachers come into the profession. New teachers typically have tons of energy and excitement about the task they are about to undertake. Statistically, and sadly, many teachers leave the profession in the first three years but most will continue to serve students for years to come. The idealistic views of many new years are an encouragement to those who have been working in the field for many years.
Students view the new school year in a multitude of ways shaped by many factors in their lives. Some love the interaction with their friends and are excited to see them for the first time in a couple of months. They want to share stories about their summer and while social media has allowed many of them to stay in touch it is still better to see them in person. Sadly, some students are glad to be back because they will have two meals a day and friendly faces to greet them each day. Some students will not be excited about the school year because they have had unpleasant school years in the past and do not have the expectation that this school year will be different. Hopefully, somewhere deep down in these students there is a ray of hope that this year will be a little different.
One never knows what a new year has in store, but a positive attitude and hopeful anticipation can help when facing inevitable challenges. In some ways school has changed dramatically over the last twenty years while remaining unchanged in others. The challenge for school leaders is to make the changes necessary to fit the needs of our new society while holding fast to the ideals of providing an education that equips students to face the challenges of their lives. Some exciting things are taking place locally and across the state of Alabama with respect to public education. We look forward to serving your students this year and in the years to come.