School is starting very soon. As a student, I loved the first day of school with new beginnings, a new page in the grade book, a new start. I loved the smell of paste, my cigar box full of #2 pencils, new crayons with sharp points. I looked forward to seeing my friends and hoped my new teacher was nice to me. There is something magic about the first day and a fresh start.
As a teacher and school leader and consultant, I love the freshly waxed floor – so bright you can see your reflection, greeting colleagues he first day back, and the sight of yellow school buses full of children. I love the first band practice, football game, and the tired but satisfied feeling of making it through a full first week. I also love the new page in a grade book – now a grading software program. Every child has a new beginning. There is nothing better than seeing students get a successful beginning. Everyone deserves a fresh start.
Great beginnings don’t just happen. A great deal of work goes into the first few days of school. The custodians work all summer to prepare the building. Teachers attend workshops and training all summer to improve their craft. Administrators work on schedules, curriculum planning, and manage bus schedules. Parents shop the sales to make sure their children have what they need for the first day. All of these activities to ensure success begin with thoughts and actions. When we have bad beginnings, it is usually because we did not take the time to plan and to pay attention to what we want. We take what comes to us rather than creating a peaceful school year. When we are not conscious of our goals, thoughts, actions, we typically have a poor start that can take us longer to overcome.
Physically and metaphorically, we have a new page in this years’ grade book. Let’s spend some time setting goals for the year and affirming success and peace for children and ourselves? Putting our thoughts and attention to this will make a great beginning. My next posts will include ideas for visioning activities, creating a vision board for teachers and students, setting up class rules, and tips for making the morning rush peaceful. I hope you will share your ideas also.