Initial days of the school year. Concerns and delights.
She greeted with a grin. A tiny bashful smile returned in a spin. The momentous occasion was about to begin.
“Having you in my class makes me feel bubbly inside.” On the small desk sat a package with a jar of bubble solution and nick-nacks. The teacher said, “So, I got you these bubbles, pencils, and erasers.
My first grader’s smile widened in the welcome.
The first moments in her new classroom are momentous and auspicious. My daughter is full of excitement tinged with slight fears of the unknown mysteries 1st Grade will bring. My wife and I are there filling out paperwork and encouraging Louise to embrace her new teacher and classroom.
Excitement crested over Louise like a tidal wave. She watches Elsie enter the classroom. Elsie is her best friend from her kindergarten class.
My wife and I are thankful Louise already has a friend in her class. Transitioning to a new grade and teacher can be a stressful ordeal behind all the exhilarating first moments of the new school year.
And we’re off to meet my fourth grader’s teacher. Rebecca is skipping down the hall with anticipation. Her eager, happy attitude infects anyone within her sight.
We reach her classroom and she drinks in her new environment. Finding her name tagged desk, Rebecca calls us over to check out her new digs. She discovers all the desks in the class have a dry eraser slate top, a fantastic feature. Taking notes and doodling kid heaven.
The fourth-grade classroom has activities for learning posted around the walls. It’s clear to Rebecca she is entering into a new phase of learning demands. Upon meeting her teacher we sense she possesses a very pleasant matter-of-fact manner.
Strong-minded 4th graders need focussed direction as well as capable leadership skills to reign in the energy of 9 and 10-year olds. My wife and I are pleased Rebecca’s teacher exhibits kindness with authority.
The beginning of the new school year ushers out more innocense we parents treasure. Our children are growing quickly and time keeps sprinting forward without regard for my wife and me desiring our young ones to remain babes.
Apprehension concerning the safety surrounding all the children in the school lingers behind our thoughts. Too many shootings and too many violent incidents caused talk of homeschooling between my wife and me. But, how or why would we deny our children the joy of friends and belonging their school offers?
Fortunately, the girl’s school has several security guards and 2 police on the premises all day. Even with security measures in place we still have our doubts.
Last year a high school student hung himself in the hallway outside of classes. Security discovered the horror before any students arrived and kept the incident hushed.
We hope and meditate on a sustainable peaceful environment for our kids and for all the children in every school.
Louise and Rebecca enjoyed a great start to their school year and all children should. They are going forward into new learning territory holding bold and inquisitive expectations.
Their lesson resonated in deep rhythms with me during the drive home: the heart of emptiness and willingness ready to be filled, a child’s view. We can bring this to all beginnings in life. The moment we wake up until we close our eyes to sleep we all have the opportunity of spectacular emptiness.
We all have the ability to be open to learn and be filled in the wonder of a beginners heart.
Great hopes, prayers, and meditations for a safe, healthy, growing, and shooting free school year for all children.
Side Note: Here are a few ways we help to acclimate our children for their new school year:
- Ask them questions about their teacher
- Ask them about their new school friends
- Ask them what they learned today in school
- Help with homework
- Limit devise or screen time
- Promote reading time
- Consistent going to sleep times allowing for 8 or more hours before waking for school
- Having conversations about extracurricular school activities
- Taking part in school functions: e.g., school dances, book fairs, after school programs, school fairs.
- Communicating with their teachers and school administrators
I’m sure you can think of more. Happy school year to all!