Tuesday, September 8th came upon us quickly, and though we were ready for Opening Day, I was still unable to sleep the night before. Like many students, thoughts of what lay ahead and what may have been forgotten kept me up the night before school was to start. I was very excited to see the familiar faces I had missed over the summer, was curious to see how much some of the students had grown during their time away, and of course, was worried that I would sleep through my alarm.
The first day went relatively smoothly, and once the homerooms were completed our staff had a great opportunity to reconnect with each other. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were incredibly busy (as they are every year). Our Mini-school group made their way to Strathcona for their annual retreat (they are due to return Monday afternoon and have been enjoying magnificent weather-see photos here).
The greatest challenge of the first week was dealing with the new Information system many school districts across the province have adopted. MyEdBC is an online information system for tracking student records and communicating with the Ministry of Education. The new system has many advantages and as we become more comfortable with it, I am confident it will be a good thing. But, as with anything new, there are some significant struggles as people become used to doing things differently. Unfortunately, the learning curve has been exacerbated by the system running incredibly slowly. Many of us have been forced into doing work outside of regular hours, when the system has fewer users and is more efficient. This past weekend I spent several hours reviewing our school timetable and getting my thoughts organized. I am feeling much better about where things stand and my awareness of what we need to do first.
On Saturday, my wife and I ventured up to Whistler to watch a friend ride in the Gran Fondo (I felt a little guilty about not having done the ride myself). I also took the time to review my experiences from the summer. I recall writing about how I would need to refer to it when work and life got more difficult. They did this past week, and it was good to be able to look back at all that our family experienced and learned this summer (below is a video of the trip).
It was a good first week. Let's see what week two brings...