A New Year Begins

How can it be? Wasn’t it just a few short weeks ago that school let out for the summer? But even with the intense heat, there’s more than a glimpse of fall in the air already, and the first day of the new school year arrives shortly.

Even as the old season starts to fade, the opening of the school year brings with it a sense of novelty, of a new beginning. Empty notebooks, sharpened pencils, new pens, and for the younger set, untouched crayons – all accompanied with an excitement for what lies ahead. And for those of us long past worrying about where we’ll sit in the classroom and whether we’ll remember the locker combination, we have our memories.

For parents, the start of school is sure to bring a sudden wave of nostalgia and the reality that the years are passing quickly. But, school also brings an obligation for parents, just as it does for students.

What parents think of school is conveyed to their children. Parents who attend open houses, participate in Parent Teacher Association activities (if their work schedules allow), meet the teachers and familiarize themselves with the school buildings, and prioritize homework are going a long way toward creating a positive learning experience for their children.

Kids learn by example, after all.

Just as it’s a child’s job to attend classes and pay attention, it’s a parent’s role to be involved with their child’s education. A teacher can only do so much; how much value parents place on the learning process goes a long way toward making that learning possible.

We hear a lot about team building in schools, but the most important team to build this time of year is the one involving parents, their children, and their teachers. Starting out right, with communication and mutual respect in the forefront, will go a long way toward making this school year a good one for each child.

And a reminder: Be extra cautious around schools and whenever children are walking to and from school. Pay attention to crosswalks, speed limit signs, blinking lights in school zones, and watch out for school busses. There’s nothing like the opening of school to remind us of all we have yet to learn, and of the excitement that knowledge of new things can bring. Enjoy!

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