BACK TO SCHOOL: Three words that can send excited nerves through a student’s, parent’s and teacher’s bodies. Students may lament, yet their friends are waiting on campus, after all. At the same time, there’s a frenzy of last minute summer reading and assignment completion while parents buzz in the background, brimming with “I told you so’s…”–both said and unsaid. For parents, the new school year, especially as kids hit milestones–senior year, starting high school/middle school/kindergarten, going off to college–brings a mix of thoughts and feelings about their babies growing up, pride, excitement, fears, nerves. And, for teachers, perhaps a mix of resolutions to do more or better, anxieties about particular students in my class or never having taught a subject before and the lamenting of another summer break passed.
The new school year is one of those marked changes in life–anticipated and known, yet still seemingly unpredictable. Using this time to stop (or at least pause) in preparing for the first day, to think through goals–are those still my aims? Why? What progress has been made? What progress can I make this next school year? How?–can be helpful to live more deliberately. This pause is not often achieved in our busy-ness, yet longed for. Even if you don’t stop for a moment, admit you’re not, to begin understanding why you’re not. Perhaps in the long run, that understanding will eventually transform into “a pause”.
Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, is the Educational Partner at Creative Marbles Consultancy. She combines educational theory with practical advice, so families, schools and educators can continuously improve their work teaching the next generation. You can contact Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org or, read her short biography.