After living through several decades of Septembers in the teaching life, this September I am also experiencing it as the grandfather of a four-year-old starting Junior Kindergarten. His mother writes:
“He seemed ok when I picked him up and he told me about the book station and O Canada. Today was the same… He wanted to go early to get in line and still showed a lot of apprehension but he said to me, ‘Mom you can hold my hand until I get to the door and then you can leave.’ When I picked him up the teacher said he did really well today and no tears. He was really excited to tell me about the book they read because it’s a book we have at the cottage called David Goes to School. He has definitely been hesitant and quite anxious but not once has he resisted going or said I don’t want to go or cried in front of us. He talks about school like it’s just part of the routine and that makes me happy. I’m very proud of him because he certainly doesn’t love change or new overwhelming situations. A big week full of firsts for both of us.”
The experience of starting school always seems to have these essential elements, whether it’s kindergarten or Grade 12. The start of school is a complicated time, full of excitement, apprehension, questions, old friends and new friends. From the point of view of a parent and of a student, the experience has a different look each year, but the underlying skeleton seems to remain the same. This week I have spoken to groups of parents and students from the other side of the fence, so to speak, as I have done for years. Going to school is probably one of the most exciting things a person will ever do. Have a wonderful weekend.