"And suddenly you just know it's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings."
As the months of April and May bring new life to the earth, the months of August and September bring new life to schools. Last week I had the pleasure of sharing a few words (and the above quotation) with some of our new students, and I asked them to consider the following questions:
What type of student do you want to be?
What type of friend do you want to be?
What type of artist/athlete do you want to be?
What type of person do you want to be?
As we walk into the new school year, these questions in fact apply to all students. Beginning again affords all of us the opportunity to think clearly about our hopes and dreams. Students are generally not as reflective as fully formed adults, but—as they are writing on the first page of a fresh new notebook or cracking open that stiff new book (perhaps with that familiar glue smell)—they can’t help but to think about these questions at least momentarily.
And herein lies the magic of beginnings. When we are in the midst of our daily routines, it’s not often that we reflect on the aforementioned questions. Yet, this time of year provides a natural and special opportunity for true and real reflection.
As students experience new classes, new teachers and coaches, new books, and perhaps new school clothes, it’s important that as teachers and parents we encourage students to experience a personal renewal as well. These conversations don’t have to be long—and maybe they come during those impromptu moments in the car—but these experiences during a time of renewal help children process, grow, and learn.
Indeed, there is magic in beginnings if we allow ourselves to experience the power of renewal. Just as each spring brings fresh and brilliant colors and smells, September brings hope, excitement, and possibilities.
Here’s to a fantastic 2018-2019 academic year, and remember to take your annual ‘start of school photo’ with your child(ren); these are the moments to savor and cherish—
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a rigorous, meaningful, and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.