With school back in session, we can’t avoid the thought of autumn any longer. The trees are changing – not just in the swamps – and the evenings are cool. It may be too hot to think about winter clothing, but the time for scarves and hats and boots will be here before we know it.
But even as one season fades, the start of the school year brings with it a sense of everything new once again. The empty notebooks, sharpened pencils, and for the younger set, untouched crayons convey an excitement about what’s ahead. And even for those of us long past worrying about whom we’ll sit next to in class or whether we’ll be able to open our lockers, the memories remain.
The opening of school also brings a reminder to pay added attention on the roads – children will be walking along streets without sidewalks and will be in crosswalks. That means watching out for reduced speed limit signs and blinking lights in school zones, and for school buses signaling their stops.
While the opening of school means a change from the endless days of fun and games of summer to the need to buckle down to learning for students, it signals a shift in focus for parents as well. What parents think of school is conveyed to their children. And parents who attend open houses, participate in Parent Teacher Association activities when their work schedules allow, meet their children’s teachers and familiarize themselves with the school buildings are going a long way toward creating a positive school experience for their children. After all, kids learn by example.
Just as it’s a child’s job to attend classes and be open to learning, it’s a parent’s role to be involved with that educational process. A teacher can only do so much; how parents value education and the learning process goes a long way toward making learning possible.
We hear a lot about team building in schools, but the most important team to build at this time of year is the one involving parents, their children, and their school. Starting out right, with plenty of communication and mutual respect, will go a long way to making this school year a good one for each child.
There’s nothing like the opening of school, like the opening of a new book, to remind us of all we have yet to learn, and of the excitement that knowledge of new things can bring. Enjoy!