I am one of the folks who work in schools who loves the beginning of school – always have. I love the opportunity to have the slate wiped clean, and to start all over again, and get it all just right (hope springs eternal). I love seeing the changes in all of the kids, and the faculty, and especially getting to know the new faculty members and realize they are every bit as great as we thought they were when we hired them.
For that matter, I just love seeing the kids. Being an administrator over the summer is all of the things that are not that much fun – the finances, operations, planning, etc. and none of the good stuff – seeing the children, watching games and plays and concerts, engaging with other professionals. Frankly, I feel a bit like Jack Nicholson in The Shining during the summer, but in a much-less disconcerting way.
I also love seeing the incredible changes that take place in children during the summer, both physical and emotional, and the ways that kids are clearly trying to reinvent themselves when a new year begins. You see the girl who couldn’t serve over the net last year serving on the varsity volleyball team, or the boy who couldn’t carry a tune three months ago has turned into a full-fledged baritone.
Most of all I love seeing the kindergarten students come to ‘big school’ for the first time. They make my day every single morning as they bound out of their cars and dash to kindergarten where everything is new and exciting, they can’t wait to try new things (even though some of it is hard). They sing with no inhibitions and every single one thinks of themselves as an artist. They use please and thank you, and cough into their elbow for everyone’s sake. They hold each other’s hand, and they hold their teachers hand. Every classmate is seen as a potential new friend.
Would that we could all remain that way. We could certainly try.