Getting Ready for a New Year

How can it be? Wasn’t it just a few short weeks ago that school let out for the summer, and a fine summer it has been. But there’s more than a glimpse of fall in the air already, and the first day of the new school year arrives next week. Next week!

The opening of the school year brings with it a sense of everything new once again. Empty notebooks, sharpened pencils, new pens, and for the younger set, untouched crayons carry with them an excitement about 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 still 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. And we all know kids learn by example.

Just as it’s a child’s job to attend classes and be open to learning, 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 education and 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 at this time of year is the one involving parents, their children, and their school staff and administrators. 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 and blinking lights in school zones. Watch out for school buses.

There’s nothing like the opening of school, like the opening of a new book, 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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