By Mary Siebert
Welcome back, friends! We all share the excitement, anticipation, jitters, and the desire to do good under any circumstances that come our way. All of the planning and preparation, which has been our main focus, fades into its rightful, structural backdrop position when we see the children arriving. Such joy!
The last time we had a “first day back” it was in April, when we were just emerging from months of remote-only classes. Although we are still wearing masks, it feels different. The teachers are accustomed to safety precautions and have confidently folded them into their daily procedures, understanding that this is what it will take for us to be in school.
Because the teachers are able to smoothly guide students through these expectations, the students are able to smoothly comply. And so our students arrived displaying the usual first day array of emotions. We witnessed excited (socially distanced) reunions of friends, shy newcomers, bold newcomers, wide-open Kindergarten eyes, self-confident 8th graders. Mini-parades of Kindergarten students were led through the office by their teacher tour-guides, who explained, “This is Miss Hannah. You might visit her sometime to say you need a band-aid, or to ask if she would call your mom or dad…”
This was all the same as any first day of school. Although we continually sense the backdrop of caution and vigilance, we gratefully welcome the reason for it all: your children, and our opportunity to support them as they learn, create, play, and do.
We know that we can choose the lenses through which we evaluate these days, and the lenses we choose will impact our students, our colleagues, our parents, and ourselves. We are so happy to be back.