The First Day of School
Why is the first day of school such a big deal?
Other than the obvious.
Students are eager to see their friends again.
Parents take pictures of their children in their new clothes.
And their new back packs.
Kids are nervous.
Teachers pray God will give them the grace to deal with challenging students – who have a way of making themselves known in no time.
Why else is the first day of school a big deal? Perhaps…
The first day represents a new start. Every school year has its trials. Some are worse than others, but a new year gives both students and their teachers an opportunity to start fresh. We joke about our “permanent record”, but teachers know squirrely students sometimes outgrow their behavior. Then there is that intangible connection certain teachers and students make that creates an environment where the “light” finally dawns. Newness always suggests possibilities.
School brings structure. Summer is a time to unplug. The school year plugs students back into the process of education. This doesn’t mean they don’t learn without structure, or that summer vacation experiences aren’t important to a child’s formation. But schedules, assignments and expectations hold student accountable to the learning process, and encourage personal growth. For some children, who have no other structure in their lives, school may be the only place they find others who believe in their success.
School helps parents let go. Looking back on my experience as a parent, I believe it took me 18 years to let go of my children. When they were born, my wife and I took care of all of their needs (Ok, my wife took care of them and I helped). But as they grew, they became more independent with each passing day. When they left home it was hard to walk into their empty rooms, but I knew they were ready to make their mark on the world. School was a huge part of the process.
Every school year is filled with success and failure, laughter and tears. Three are fees to pay, supplies to buy, trips to sponsor, and those occasional unsolicited meetings with teachers.
You didn’t have these kinds of meetings with teachers?
My mom did.
Not so much with my older sister.
Or with my younger brother.
I was special.
Your child is special too, and he or she will be fine. It’s all a part of the process. Keep praying and enjoy the journey as you see God’s potential unfold before your eyes.