Back. To. School. Three magic words. Whether you have kids going back or are going back yourself (on either side of the desk), you cannot deny the incredible wonder of those three words.
New pencils, new crayons, new notebooks, new binders. New books
And let’s not forget new teachers! First year or fifteenth year…their experience didn’t matter a whit on opening day. They were new to us and that was cause for tons of anxiety the night before. What would she look like? Did he grade really hard? Would she be really strict? By the end of the year we’d either be old friends or hard enemies, but on that first day…anything was possible.
My favorite and my scariest first day of school both happened on the same day. After eight years in public schools, I decided I needed more focus on learning academics and less focus on survival. My junior high years were filled with violence (not a day went by that I didn’t witness at least one fistfight) and I wanted a change. So I talked my parents into sending me to one of several Catholic high schools in our city.
That sounded great in theory. But I’m one who doesn’t really like change. Keeping the status quo is usually just fine with me. Sure my head wanted the move…but the morning of that first day…my heart quailed. What the heck was I thinking? New building, new people, new everything! Heck, I was even wearing a uniform! I didn’t know a single person of the five hundred and twenty-five ninth graders who entered that building that day (a fact I later realized was wrong. As the year progressed, I discovered there were actually two people I’d gone to school with in elementary school or in junior high…two out of five hundred and twenty-five).
So what on earth could make this become by favorite first day? That understanding would come only with hindsight. Later I understood the tremendous courage I’d had to muster to walk through that door and I still take pride in doing something that scared me so much. I also ended up loving that high school…the teachers, the kids, even the administration all combined to create an incredible experience for this shy, scared fourteen-year-old freshman who screwed her courage to the sticking place and got through that first day. I’d not trade those years for anything.
So what about you? What are your favorite memories of the start of school? What made them so memorable? And more importantly, did ya learn anything?