Welcome Back!

editorial-logo3This week our teachers and students make their way back to the classroom to search for knowledge. I always get excited this time of year because it is ripe with new possibilities. If it seems a little early, to those of us who remember a summer that did not end until after Labor Day, well, it is a little early in my book. But, that doesn’t lessen the energy that is sweeping through the air. You would think that I have a child starting back to school, but that is not the case. My son has long been gone from school, having graduated from college in 2014. It doesn’t require a child in school to catch the spark that comes from a brand new school year.

For teachers, I know that many of you would like to have another few weeks of summer break before meeting the masses, but I also know that you have been planning for this week for weeks. In fact, if you are honest, you never really stopped planning and you are anxious to see those bright faces, with fresh summer tans and the smell of chlorine still clinging to their clothes, ready to learn. And learn they will. They will come to you as a newbie, no matter what the grade, and they will leave almost unrecognizable. Under your tutorial they will morph and grow. They will better thinkers and more experienced learners. Hopefully, they will be more knowledgeable about lessons and life before the school bell rings for the final time this school year. And no matter how hard it will be to drag yourself out of bed this week – no matter how stressful it gets – you will be their fearless leader, and they will remember you. You, educator, will add to their life in ways that you cannot even imagine and may never know. You will be a part of their story, their bigger picture, and it doesn’t get any more important than that.

For parents, sending them back may be hard or easy, depending on the minute of day or the week. They are your babies, your prodigy, your past, present, and future. You know them better and love them in ways that no one can imagine, and sometimes it is hard to turn the best part of their day over to someone else. Know that your child’s teacher is not in it for the money because, frankly, the pay just isn’t that good. He or she likely has school debt. He or she probably doesn’t drive the best car or live in the fanciest house unless there is income coming from somewhere else because his/her salary is more McDonalds than steak and lobster. But you can bet your bottom dollar that your child’s teacher will reach into his/her pocket to pay for many things this year that are not a part of the job but are so, so much a part of the job. Including ice cream on that day that things were crazy and you forgot. We all forget once in a while and it is good to know that your child’s “other” adult cares. Parents, you will get annoyed about homework, we all do. And sometimes it seems like your child is the one getting the shaft, which is hard to take. You should always ask questions and you should always be present, after all, you are your child’s best advocate and you know your child like no one else can or will, ever. But remember that no one becomes a teacher to be mean to children. Teachers, all teachers no matter their longevity or mood, love children, otherwise they simply could not face their job day in and day out. Do they get irritable? Do you? Are they mad at your child? This is your child – are they perfect, or do you sometimes get angry at their actions? Keep the line of communication open, make acquiring knowledge important in your family, and enjoy this time of their life. It will soon pass, and homework and other bothersome parts of school will just be a memory. Don’t wish these years away. Participate and be present. This time is a gift.

For students, embrace this school year. Learn, laugh, be serious about being intelligent, but have fun. Know that your parents love you. Know that your teacher chose to be in your classroom every day. He/she picked teaching above everything else and is sharing their gift of the love of knowledge with you everyday. Be a sponge. It is your only job.

I certainly hope that this year is as wonderful and adventurous as it has the potential to be. I love summer, but nothing, nothing is as exciting as a new school year. Welcome Back, Teachers, Parents, and Students! We missed you!

Source: K. Depew, News Director

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