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Thursday, August 25, 2016

That Back to School Feeling

The "Back to School" sales advertising is fading as we near the approach of the opening day of school in Bennington this coming Monday, August 29th. That first day is always accompanied by surging optimism associated with the start of another year. Children boast new "school clothes" outfits, hair styles, and shoes as they amble into school armed with notebooks, pencils, and backpacks full of hopes and dreams for the future. There is a collective sense of renewal as staff and learners alike begin again with a clean slate and restored energy, anxious to meet each other and develop relationships. The "newness" is exhilarating.

This is my forty-first start of a school year. I love the feeling of the first day of school. It recalls the positive spirit that emerges just prior to Thanksgiving and seems to have an emotional shelf life that expires as soon after New Years Day as most resolutions. During the holidays, there appears to be more positive interactions among people. People are more patient and cheerful, more accommodating and generous. 

I've often heard others remark wistfully about how nice it would be if that attitude prevailed throughout the calendar year instead of just around the holidays. I maintain the same hope regarding the impact of the first day of school. Why can't we pledge ourselves to sustain the hope and optimism, and the renewal and excitement of that opening day - throughout the entire school year?

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