The Labour Day long weekend is once again upon us and with it comes the excitement and nervous energy that is part of a new school year. It is, indeed, a second New Year, as students and teachers alike try to anticipate what lies ahead and make resolutions and set goals for the upcoming academic year.
I have written posts along these lines in the past (here and here), and each time attempt to put to rest the minds of students and parents, reassuring them that the upcoming year will be a time of great growth and fun times for our students. This year (like every other) will be filled with opportunities and some obstacles, but these are learning experiences. Both parents and students need not fear making mistakes, but should instead embrace all the options available in high school by working hard, getting involved, meeting new people, making some memories and learning. I recently saw the following video clip of Ashton Kutcher talking to young people about some keys to life and can't say it any better...
1. Work Hard-take advantage of your opportunities
2. Be smart-think, ask questions, be generous and be thoughtful
3. Build a life-create the opportunities you desire
Full Disclosure.... My eldest has just turned 13 and is entering his first year of high school. He is excited, but understandably nervous. His mother and I are even more so. We worry about how he will adjust to greater responsibility, meeting new people, and some of the inevitable disappointments that come with growing up. He is still very young and impressionable, and watching him and thinking about all that he will deal with and overcome reminds me that all of students new to our school are like him. They need to be gently welcomed and encouraged, yet be given the chance to explore and learn in their own way. Each of our students is the son or daughter of two parents who care desperately for their well-being and trust their educators to challenge, teach, listen to and care for them. We do not take this responsibility lightly and will do everything in our power to provide an outstanding experience for your child. Like in my situation, the children you are sending us are the best ones you have, so we will be sure to treat them that way.
As tradition dictates, I will sign off with a Sesame Street video, welcoming students back to school and wishing them a GREAT year!!! Welcome Back, Breakers!!!