Another summer has flown by; they seem to pass so quickly these days. Soon we will see yellow school buses traveling the roads, their seats filled with children. We will hear school bells ringing and see crowds of students rushing to get to their classrooms on time. We will see little ones attending school for the first time, many of them crying, unsure of what this new world holds for them. We will see mothers crying for the same reason. We will see the smiling faces of teachers, welcoming back a new crop of young minds, anxious to begin fulfilling their calling, for surely it is a calling to be a teacher. Everything is fresh and new. The canvas is blank once again and it is up to the student, teacher and parent to begin painting it. Together, they have the ability to create a masterpiece to be hung on the wall and cherished for years to come—a representation of hard work, challenges, effort, tears, smiles, laughter, friendships and hugs.
Teachers, over the summer break you rested and remembered why you are a teacher. Hold on to the feeling of excitement that you have right now, it is contagious. Children know when you love what you do and they can tell when you care about them, and sometimes that’s all that pushes them to do better. They do it to please you, their teacher.
Parents, you are tired, it’s been a long, hot summer! But on the first day of school, all you can do is think about your child and wonder what kind of day they are having. Are they making new friends? And you find yourself watching the clock, excitedly anticipating when they will get out of school and you can sit and listen to them tell you about their day. Remember that feeling. We should never allow our lives to become so chaotic that we no longer look forward to having open conversations with our children.
Students, cherish these days. You will never be as carefree and unencumbered as you are right now. Yes, you have many challenges and your life is much more complicated than ours was at your age. You face pressures that we can only pray we have taught you how to cope with. But you are young, smart, beautiful and handsome. There is no one at your school, or the world, that is just like you. Embrace that uniqueness. Discover what your purpose is, for each of us has one. Never compromise yourself, your values or your morals for anyone else. Sadly, the world we are leaving you is not a pretty place. It will be up to you to right the wrongs. Learn to love each other. Learn to accept your differences. Learn empathy. Much is expected of you, but that is for another day. For this day, breathe it all in for it shall not come again.