It’s the final countdown. Of course, many teachers are already back, but at least for students, the countdown until the start of school has begun. Remember what it was like purchasing school supplies? buying new clothes? finding out who your teachers and classmates would be? With this tradition students experience a whole host of emotions – anticipation, excitement, anxiety. Sound familiar? Yep. For the most part, teachers experience the same. There are, however, key differences.
Adults have a lot of experience channeling all these feelings into acceptable [or at least tolerable] behaviors. The novelty of the start of school has become a strong ritual to which we are accustomed. This is not so much the case for our students, especially for the younger ones. Novelty escalates behaviors, so we need to be prepared for a potentially wild ride.
Teachers, be patient – with your students, parents, and colleagues. Soon, the fun will begin, and our initial interactions with others will have a strong impact on later ones. We only get one start-of-school experience each fall. I hope you are able to make yours a great one.