Today is the first day of the 2014-2015 school year in Worthington! I love the first day. It’s a new beginning for everyone. It’s a chance to improve on last year and an opportunity to prove that what you did well last year was not a fluke. In our house our school supplies were purchased just after the 4th of July. My girls are excited about their teachers, their new colorful and carpeted classrooms, and the opportunities that await them. As a child I remember being anxious about the first day. Would my new parachute pants still be in style with the cool kids? Would the teacher make me read out loud in front of the class? Would this be the year that they actually let us use the climbing wall in the gym? Would the cafeteria still serve the bagels dipped in melted butter? Would Beth Davies actually talk to me? All important questions….(For the answer to these questions you’ll have to read all the way to the bottom of this post.)
This year will mark my 20th first day as a professional educator. I still get anxious thinking about the first day of school, but it’s very different than it was in my youth. In thinking back I was reflecting on my first days: I spent kindergarten in Cleveland and grades 1-3 in San Francisco. I have no real memories of these schools and am not even certain of the school names. After moving to Worthington to begin my 4th grade year I spent three first days at Worthington Hills Elementary, one first day at Perry Middle School, the first, first day ever at McCord Middle School, one first day at the Kilbourne Building and three first days at Worthington High School.
For some reason the first day of class in college isn’t really significant, so I’ll leave those years out. As an educator I spent my first day as a teacher at Potomac Elementary in King George, Virginia. I spent one first day at King George Middle School. I spent two first days at Evening Street, two more at McCord Middle. I spent one first day at Creekview Intermediate School, five first days at Navin Elementary School and one first day split between Navin and Northwood Elementary in Marysville. Today is my seventh first day as a member of the Worthington Schools central office team.
First days are both an end and a beginning. The first day marks the end of an incredible effort by principals, secretaries, custodial and maintenance staff, transportation staff, the welcome center, etc… The hard work of getting schools ready and students in the right places is mostly done when the first day arrives. It’s also the beginning. The beginning of a new journey. A marathon that will take many twists and turns we do not yet know about. Each school year has it’s own unique story.
As an educator I’m anxious for the first day the way I hope my kids are. I’m not nervous and I’m not fearful. I’m just excited! For my own kids I’m excited about what they’ll get to learn, do, and experience this year. I have total confidence in the adults in their schools and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to send my children to them daily. Enjoy the first day of school. It’s always a special day!
Every first day starts for me with this saying….
This is the beginning of a new day
you have been given this day to use as you will.
You can waste it or use it for good.
What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.
When tomorrow comes this day will be gone forever.
In it’s place is something that you have left behind….
Let it be something good.
And now for the long awaited answers….
Q1: Would my parachute pants still be in style with the cool kids?
A: Just barely. I was always about 8 months late on the trends that lasted for 8 and a half months. I didn’t totally embarrass myself but I think I likely only wore the parachute pants once.
Q2: Would the teacher make me read out loud in front of the class?
A: Always! And as a student with a learning disability in reading this was incredibly painful. Of course I would always try to determine ahead of time exactly what paragraph I would have to read and while the other students were reading aloud and I was supposed to be listening, I would be secretly practicing my passage.
Q3: Would this be the year they actually let us use the climbing wall in the gym?
A: I was incredibly lucky in this area. Dr. Gary Moore was my Phys. Ed. teacher at Worthington Hills and the man is a genius. Seriously, before he created SuperGames he was my gym teacher. Not only did we use the climbing wall, when we got to the top he let us jump off and try to catch a trapeze bar. Apparently the school district had no liability concerns in the 80’s.
Q4: Would the cafeteria still serve bagels dipped in melted butter?
A: Yes! The actually allowed this. For lunch you could buy a bagel dipped in hot butter. I’ve been on cholesterol medicine since I was 18. We may know why.
Q5: Would Beth Davies actually talk to me?
A: “Crashed and burned” I never had a chance…