It’s exciting, yet hard to believe, that in a week our schools will be filled with students and staff ready to begin the 2017-2018 school year. I feel the same excitement today as I did when I was a student. I always went to Value City with my mom to pick out the outfit I would wear on the first day of school. I looked forward to picking out a new trapper keeper to keep all of my schoolwork organized. After months of anticipation, the school bus finally came around the corner of Violet Road and I couldn’t help the smile that came across my face. I stepped on the bus and immediately said hello to my friends that I didn’t see all summer (remember… we didn’t have social media!) While I was eager to get into the classroom, I was also ready to defend my title as gym class “Around the World” champion! Even though it has been a few years since I was a student, to this day I still have memories of classmates, teachers, and faculty that I will cherish forever.
The positive impact that my school made on me was the reason I decided to pursue a career in education. I can still recall all of my teachers from elementary to high school. Mostly I have fond memories of the teachers , but I do remember some for different reasons, but in the end, they all shaped me into the educator I am today. For instance, my 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Beach, taught me how to write in cursive. I went home from school that year and every blank sheet of paper I could find was used to practice writing my name in cursive. Mr. Bayes, my middle school basketball coach and science teacher, gave me a love for science that I carried over into my years of teaching elementary science. He also gave me some pointers about my shot (follow through) and the importance of being a team player. My AP English teacher, Ms. Lillard, taught me how to write collegiate papers. Her resourceful and creative teaching style carried over to me when I taught 3rd and 4th grade writing.
However, I remember more than just the teachers. My bus drivers, Ms. Doane and Ms. Gibson, always greeted me with a smile and got me where I needed to be safely. Pops, my elementary custodian, was always available for hugs and encouragement. Ms. Clifton always had time for a quick chat while I was grabbing my food in the high school lunchroom. The list of the names, faces, and stories could go on forever.
Lastly, my school career wouldn’t have been as meaningful without the support of my parents. After a long day of work, my parents always made time to help me with my homework, talk to me about my day, and support me in all of my extra curricular activities. However, when my parents had their hands tied, my village of supporters always lent a hand.
As we begin this school year, I encourage everyone to realize how important their role is in the life of a child. As we begin the school year with new books, pencils, and binders, let’s also have a refreshed awareness of adults’ roles in education. Whether you are a parent, teacher, custodian, food service employee, secretary, administrator, coach, etc. you play an important role in determining if our students have a positive school year. They are watching and they will remember. For what do you want to be remembered?
I look forward to what this school year will bring! Welcome back, everyone!