The New Year brings with it a fresh start, resolutions and most of all, renewed hope. Of course, in schools, the “fresh start” may be somewhat contrived as the academic year is almost halfway completed. Furthermore, the majority of our seniors are into college and for some of them, June cannot come soon enough. Their fresh start will have to wait until August! Nonetheless, as the semester changes, there is still the chance to begin again for most, if not all our students.
Resolutions though, appear to more and more be something that only adults either commit to or merely consider. In my recent conversations with students, none cared to make or even offer any. I am not sure what this suggests about adolescents today, but I suspect it will be the topic of a study at some point. However, for those of us who do maintain this annual custom, they can serve as a valuable reminder of the positive ways in which we can consciously try to change. Whether or not they stick, and research suggests a minimum of 21 days to make something a habit, the process is inevitably a good one as we work on getting better in one way or another. This is especially true if the resolution involves more exercise or healthier eating habits! Certainly, count me in the category of those who make resolutions.
Whether it is a new beginning, or a commitment to improve in some way, the change in the calendar from December to January presents plenty of opportunities. In addition, nature provides us with some additional encouragement. For example, the amount of daylight is now increasing and will continue to do so until June. Just the very possibility of more sunshine each day should lift spirits. After all, spring is just eight weeks away! It is also true that the next several weeks will certainly bring a snow day or two. Experience has taught me they are something of a morale booster and most teachers enjoy them as much as our students. All these things foster the hope that things will be better this year.
There are certainly many challenges in January, February and March, as winter can be both harsh and unpredictable. However, there are also many positive elements accompanying these first few months that may sustain us as we move forward. Once again an appreciation of balance, does matter.
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.