Random Thoughts for the First Day of School!

Like most educators, I have been thinking about this night for a few weeks now… the eve of the first day of school. I have to tell you, while it does signify the end of summer for us teachers and admin, it is also an exciting time for everyone.  There are parents who are excited to send their kids back to us – check out this cool mom!

There are also so many kids who are excited to be back in school.  I conducted some “action research” today in our crescent with several early years students (including my 8 year old daughter) as well as a few parents and the data was truly revealing.  When I asked the kids if they were excited to go back to school my daughter told me that she can’t wait.  She has her clothes picked out, hair ideas thought through, friends at recess identified… and on and on… yet at the same time her friend (also in grade 3) had no interest in returning… he explained that this would cut into his remote control car time as well as his time on the trampoline.  Fair enough.

My reflection on these conversations has led me to a few thoughts.  First, while all of you early years teachers might assume your kids are excited to see you, keep in mind that you might not be as cool as camping, or remote control cars… don’t take it personally, just work hard to help those kids have a fun start up.  Next, for those of us who are working too much (yup the fact that I’m writing this blog right now puts me in that category with so many of you), remember it’s a marathon not a sprint.  While in our school today I found myself telling a few teachers to wrap things up and go home.  I consistently heard the reply that they had too much to do.  Remember, it will be there tomorrow!  If it’s not going to negatively impact your kids on their first day cut yourself some slack.  The fact that you are in school on a holiday puts to rest any questions of your dedication!

As I wrap up I have to share with you one additional comment from my action research.  One of the kids’ parents asked me today “Are you excited for the first day of school?”… before I could ask he answered for me… with a better response than I could have ever articulated…  “You must love school, you made a career out of it!”

As you move through the excitement of the first day, week and month of school, I encourage you to remember the wisdom of my neighbour.

Have a great first day and a fantastic year!  I would love to hear tales from your first day!

Shaye Patras

Principal, Blueberry School

About Shaye Patras

I am a husband and father of two fantastic girls. I currently work as the Principal of Ecole Meridian Heights School in Parkland School Division in Alberta, Canada. I am excited to be continuing my administrative career in this learning community!
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