Tomorrow students will return to school in their millions. Teachers will groan as they try to memorize names and faces, parents will sigh in relief and the students themselves will most probably be asked to write down what they did this summer.
Some will write about visiting Florida and meeting Mickey Mouse. Others might have flown to Australia and seen Kangaroos in real life. Many will have spent time at camp, usually with varied opinions of the experience. A week away from home, maybe by the water, maybe by the cottage, maybe Niagara.
It is important to realize that there will have been many students who spent the summer having a staycation. When one or both parents are struggling with employment, finances may not stretch to leaving the house. It doesn’t mean that their summer was boring, or wasted, or uneventful. Time spent at home with family is never ever wasted. Perhaps time was spent playing soccer, camping in the back yard, what about perfecting and beating a video game?
Kids make up their own fun, regardless of how many times they moan about how bored they are. Their imagination truly knows no bounds. Half an hour spent in the bath can lead to a recreation of the sinking of the Titanic. Lying under their bed can give kids their own private club. If both parents are working, grandparents become invaluable, and no time spent with grand kids is ever wasted.
Tomorrow those large yellow vehicles will be slowing down traffic throughout the city and surrounding area. Everything will grind to a halt when the lights start flashing and the stop sign swings out. Excited faces in the morning will get on the bus, and probably tired faces will get off the bus in the afternoon.
For those students who start a new school, it is a very daunting prospect filled with unknowns. Will they find friends? Will they find their classrooms? Will they be able to fit in? Will they get bullied? The unknown is filled by a students imagination and often with a worst case scenario. Although more resilient than most adults, little experience in matters such as these means that many students will have a sleepless night tonight worrying about things not yet known.
No one, be it child or adult, want to feel like an outsider, alone in the crowd while everyone around them appears to be enjoying themselves. No child wants to sit by themselves at lunch time. Who would want to return home and wish they never had to go to school tomorrow because they feel as if they don’t have any friends.
If your son or daughter notices someone who is sad and alone, you would be proud of them if they went over and made friends with that person. Let them know that. It never hurts to praise a child. In many ways parents live vicariously through their children and when the children do something good, parents also feel good about themselves as well as the children.
Tomorrow is a big day for so many, students, teachers, parents. It will be stressful, it will be exciting. Like the coming of winter, it is unavoidable. Let’s hope that this school year will be an amazing time for both staff and students alike. Everyone will learn, have fun and be friends. Parents will remember that they are the ones responsible for the upbringing of their children, not the teachers.
Please remember to drive slow tomorrow.