By Jean Mauzy
---- — Time disappears as though it is set on a fast-forward motion of speed. The calendar reveals that school has been out of session for two full months but in some sense, it seems as though the carefree days of summer break just began.
Activities keep us so busy that we barely notice how quickly life passes by. Break officially begins in the month of June but we stay busy with ballgames, fair projects, graduation parties, summer school, and so on. Enter July and we think life might slow down a bit and perhaps it does in ways, but still the fast-forward time warp ushers the month out in what appears to be record time. We move on.
I enter the season of this new school year with mixed emotions. As a parent of a recent high school graduate, I am days away from sending my son out the door to new college adventures. I’ve been in this place before but it never gets any easier to realize the changes ahead. I’m excited for him but, at the same time, saddened to see him go. The immediate dynamics of our family setting will change not just for me, but for his siblings as well.
It’s a reflective time to be sure but one that will have a happy ending even though it may begin with a heavy heart. Adjustments to our new roles will come and more than likely, they will come in fast-forward speed. We will all be busy moving on by acclimating to new routines.
A new school year keeps everyone busy getting used to the changes. The most difficult aspect of the process is adjusting the sleep routine for younger kids. Late nights and lazy mornings for them are gone for another school year. Daylight savings time keeps kids and adults up a little later in the summer months here, where the sun sets a lot later than it does in the Eastern states. It’s not easy or natural to go to bed when it’s still light outside but with school starting, we must try.
As challenging as sleep routines might be, the new school year is also a time of great wonder for kids. When parents start prepping the kids for change by purchasing new school supplies and the like, excitement builds. Learning who their teacher will be and getting back in touch with classmates likely tops the list. However, many kids also look forward to what the school year will be like and what they will be studying. Parents may approach the year with the same anticipation as we hope for the best of everything.
Items most important to me are that kids enter an environment conducive to learning where they have ample male and female adult role models, minimal class disruptions, and of highest value is that the kids enter an environment where safety of the students is the top priority of all administrative/managerial positions. Nothing is so unnerving to me, as a parent, to think that we believe we are already there and that nothing further needs to be accomplished in that area. Where safety is concerned, “groupthink” is not a consensus value to hold just to refrain from rocking the boat, so to speak.
My digressions help me realize the short summer break is over. It’s now time to say farewell to the carefree days of summer break and move on to new challenges and concerns.
Best wishes to all students and to their parents as we step into another school year. Let’s make it a great one.